It is pretty simple to guess that iPhone 9 will be the next flagship device to be unveiled by Apple. That’s an assumption based on the pattern followed so far – Apple follows the pattern of releasing a new numbered version every alternate year, and odd years will be its ‘S’ version. Since the release of iPhone 4 in 2010, that’s the way it’s been.
Sure, we might see an iPhone 8s next year alongside a more premium flagship device, and that’s most likely iPhone 9. Apple could, of course, completely change the naming convention and go like Microsoft did with this year’s Surface Pro. No Surface Pro 5, no Surface Pro 2017 – just Surface Pro. I think it would be great to see an iPhone that’s just called “iPhone”. For now, let’s just call it iPhone 9.
Some rumors suggest that Apple is already working on iPhone 9 well ahead of a 2018 release. If this rumor is true, then Apple is veering away from the course it’s usually followed.
Let’s see what the rumor mill in Asia has to say about iPhone 9, that part of the world being closest to Apple’s supply and production chains for iPhones.
A report from the Korea Economic Daily states that Apple has partnered with LG to be an exclusive partner for supplying batteries for next year’s iPhone 9. That’s a deviation from its traditional way of operating, by having multiple suppliers for one component to overcome the challenges faced during production and to have better bargaining power.
The battery on iPhone 9 is expected to be in an L shape, with LG optimizing the maximum internal space, which was always a concern. LG is already gearing up ahead of production to support the large massive demand that iPhone 9 will generate.
Another report from the Bell says that Samsung will be the OLED display supplier, and is said to manufacture more than 180 million units for Apple. That has to be the bulk of any quarterly sales projections, which means only a portion may be sourced from LG. That makes sense because there’s no way LG can ramp up from its existing capacity to hundreds of millions of OLED panels a month in the time between now and the launch of iPhone 9’s launch. It’s most likely that 2019 and beyond devices that could have an equal share of OLED from Korea’s – and the world’s – top Organic LED makers.
The recent update on Apple’s “Smart Pixel” patent for its future device displays is expected to be a major move to improve battery life, and the rumors of Apple setting up its own plants to make the product in the United States, and many more initiatives, raise speculation to a whole new level.
This year’s iPhone 8 is expected to come with a few advancements – wireless charging, nearly no bezels around the screen display area, face recognition and so on. These features, if seen on iPhone 8, will almost assuredly make it to iPhone 9. In fact, it’s almost certain that these features will work much better on the next iPhone.
This is what we can probably get used to with iPhones from now on: all-screen glass, better Retina technology on the display, OLED as the standard, under-display fingerprint sensor, wireless charging (they’ll keep increasing the distance, for sure), and a pretty aggressive new operating system every year, starting with the powerful iOS 11 on iPhone 8.
In truth, it’s a million miles ‘twixt the cup and the lip, and the product is more than a year away. Things can dramatically change, and they will. Right now, this is what we know about the 2018 Apple smartphone called iPhone 9.