Apple supposedly pencils in April 15 launch for iPhone 9

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iPhone-9-concept
A reported iPhone 9, similar to this conceptual design, could arrive any day now.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

Apple has supposedly penciled in an April 15 launch date for its low-cost iPhone 9.

New claims that surfaced Tuesday indicate the company held an internal briefing this week to decide “tentative” announcement and shipping dates for the new device. Those claims remind us, however, that “we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and things could change.”

Apple is said to have held its internal meeting on Monday, March 30, when it decided iPhone 9 could be announced on April 15. It seems fans will be able to preorder the device on the same day, with the first iPhone 9 deliveries set to take place a week later on April 22.

iPhone 9 coming April 15?

The newest information on iPhone 9 comes from Jon Prosser, founder of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech.

“To help with the launch, over the next two weeks, Apple is shipping iMacs to select retail employees who are being asked to work remotely,” Prosser added on Twitter. “Those employees will be trained in order to offer sales and tech support online for customers.”

Prosser has been reliable with his information in the past. Last October, he spilled details of an AirPods Pro media event days before Apple’s newest wireless buds were officially announced. However, we should note that his most recent claims are yet to be confirmed.

Prosser has also warned “iPhone 12” will be delayed, and that Apple is developing a new AirPower charging mat. Similar suggestions have also been made by other sources, including reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. However, other reports have dismissed them.

What about April 5?

Reports out Tuesday morning indicated iPhone 9 could arrive as early as this week. This comes from a tipster who leaked photos of apparent iPhone 9 accessories distributed to Best Buy stores, which have reportedly been told that the products cannot go on sale before April 5.

Given that April 5 is a Sunday, that was never going to be the date of Apple’s announcement — or indeed iPhone 9’s launch. But it did lead us to believe that the handset could come earlier, perhaps with an announcement this Friday, followed by a launch one week later.

iPhone 9’s late launch

At the beginning of the year, it looked like iPhone 9 would be Apple’s first product of 2020. Reports were pointing to a spring debut. As the weeks went on, we all expected to see keynote invites from Apple.

Then came the COVID-19 outbreak. The virus began expanding its reach around the world, while in China — the home of most Apple suppliers — we saw labor shortages and restrictions on transport.

The iPhone 9 production was impacted by all of this, and the big event Apple had planned for March had to be scrapped. iPhone 9 isn’t dead, though. It’s still on the way and could appear any day now.

What to expect from iPhone 9

All rumors point to iPhone 9 using much the same external hardware as iPhone 8 in an effort to keep costs low. We expect the same 4.7-inch Retina display, Touch ID and a glass back for wireless charging.

The budget device is likely to be very different on the inside, however, with Apple packing in some of its newest technologies — including the same A13 Bionic chip that’s found inside the iPhone 11 series.

Reliable TF International Securities Ming-Chi Kuo previously predicted an A13 chip, as well as 3GB of RAM — up from just 2GB of RAM in iPhone 8 — and up to 128GB of storage for iPhone 9.

Kuo also expects iPhone 9 to sell for around $399 in the United States, making it a much more affordable alternative to even the cheapest iPhone 11. But who is it for?

iPhone 9 isn’t just an iPhone SE successor

iPhone 9 is rumored to be an iPhone SE successor — that’s why it has also been referred to as “iPhone SE 2” countless times in the past. It’s aimed at a specific set of Apple fans who still use older handsets.

This includes not only iPhone SE owners, but perhaps, more importantly, the millions of people still holding onto an iPhone 6 — Apple’s best-selling smartphone to date.