Apple's iPhones are always much-coveted, but the most common criticism is that they're too expensive. But it looks like a new "budget" iPhone could be with us sooner than expected. Rumours suggest that the iPhone 9, also referred to as the iPhone SE 2, will be released in March, at a cost of just $399. This is around the same price as the first iPhone SE (SE stands for Special Edition, in case you were wondering).
This means the iPhone SE 2 could end up on shelves in just a few weeks, and may be a strong contender for one of the best smartphones (opens in new tab) available. There's a lot of buzz around this release (and the usual deluge of rumours). OnLeaks (opens in new tab) and iGeeksBlog (opens in new tab) have put together a video (below) showing how this new phone might look.
Compared to the now discontinued iPhone SE, version 2 is expected to have a slightly bigger screen – 4.7-inches, which is in line with the iPhone 8. There'll be Touch ID with a Home button at the bottom of the screen (not Face ID, though we don't imagine that will be a huge problem for most) the same super-fast A13 Bionic Chip used in the iPhone 11, and the same camera – albeit with just a single lens. That means the camera should be pretty capable, could this cheaper iPhone even make it into our list of the best camera phones (opens in new tab)?
Looks-wise, the Apple logo has moved to the centre of the phone (opens in new tab) like in the iPhone 11. And there's expected to be frosted glass on the back of the phone, rather than the glossy glass of the iPhone 11. OnLeaks thinks it'll be available in red, space grey and silver.
With these specs and that price, we can imagine the iPhone 9 flying off the shelves. Although of course, Apple hasn't confirmed anything yet. There's also the issue of Coronavirus holding up production, meaning that the mid-March release date could be optimistic.
There has been a lot of the debate around the name. Calling this phone iPhone 9 may sound like Apple is going backwards, but it sort of makes sense when you consider this design follows the iPhone 8 more closely than any other. And it seems that iPhone 9 is more likely than iPhone SE 2. Notebook Check (opens in new tab) reports that images from South Korean company, Korea Telecom, show the phone is being advertised as the iPhone 9, along with the Galaxy S20 series.
Fast Company (opens in new tab) suggests that this low-cost phone may help Apple compete in the Chinese and Indian markets, as well as appeal to a range of people who previously couldn't afford an iPhone. And its strategy may well be to sell these customers a cheaper phone, in the hopes of drawing them into Apple's ecosystem overall. Because once you've got an iPhone, you'll then probably want an iPad (see our cheap iPad deals (opens in new tab)), and you may even sign up to services like Apple TV or Apple Music.
As usual, we'll take all these rumours with a pinch of salt. We'll just be sitting here with our fingers crossed that a budget iPhone with an incredible camera could soon be within our grasp.