Carriers and retailers prepare for imminent ‘iPhone 9’ debut

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iPhone 9
Coming soon to a pocket near you?
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

There’s more evidence that the new low-cost iPhone alternately referred to as the iPhone SE/iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 is about ready to launch, thanks to two pieces of fresh evidence which appeared over the weekend.

The first is a placeholder page on the major Chinese retailer JD.com. The second is a reference to the “iPhone 9” in a Verizon document about iPhone trade-ins. While there’s no more detail on the phone itself, it suggests that the new iPhone is indeed on its way.

The JD.com placeholder webpage (via My Smart Price) does not have any spec related to the new handset. Nor does it have any pictures. In place of this, there’s a stock photo of an object covered with a red sheet. Nonetheless, the fact that JD.com has created such a page is interesting. A separate carrier in South Korea is also taking preorders for the handset.

The Verizon document, meanwhile, was shared online by Apple leaker Jon Prosser. Again, there are no details about the handset, although its inclusion is certainly interesting.

iPhone 9, iPhone SE, or iPhone SE? Either way, it’s coming soon

The new iPhone is rumored to offer upgraded components in an iPhone 8 body. That’s similar to what the original 2016 iPhone SE did with upgraded iPhone 5 internals. The phone is rumored to cost $399, the same as the original iPhone SE.

Originally, the tech world was expecting the new handset in March. However, it was pushed back due to the supply chain-disrupting COVID-19. A recent rumor suggested that it would debut April 15. Another, published late last week, suggested it could debut any time after April 3 (the Friday just past).

The name currently remains a mystery. JD.com and Verizon refer to it as the iPhone 9. That would fill a chronological gap between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, although it may also suggest to users that the iPhone is not a current generation device (which, as far as specs go, would be partially true.) Meanwhile, a case product listing which recently appeared on Apple’s own online store called it the iPhone SE. If that is correct, it would be the first time in iPhone history that Apple has recycled the previous name of an older iPhone.

Are you excited about the new low cost handset? What do you think Apple should call it? Let us know in the comments below.