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Apple’s first new iPhone of 2020 could have a massive surprise

Published Feb 20th, 2020 10:38AM EST
iPhone 12 Release Date
Image: Oliur Rahman

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Apple is expected to unveil a brand new iPhone model next month, the handset many of you have been asking for. Often referred to as the iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2, it’ll be an updated iPhone 8 that will sport both a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and Apple’s powerful A13 chip found inside the iPhone 11 series.

Leaks have been referring to this phone as iPhone SE 2 and iPhone 9, and both of those names make some sense. This iPhone 8-like device will be Apple’s most affordable handset since the iPhone SE, and it’ll have the same design as the iPhone 8. However, neither iPhone SE 2 nor iPhone 9 are ideal naming options, and Apple has been struggling with iPhone naming schemes in recent years. Now, a new leak says Apple has a different product name in mind for the upcoming 4.7-inch handset, and it would be a huge surprise that no one saw coming.

It was 2017 when Apple’s iPhone problems issues first began. There was no iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus to follow the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Instead, Apple jumped directly to iPhone 8/8 Plus and then launched the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten) alongside it. The year that followed gave us the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, but no iPhone 8s or iPhone 9. Then we got the cleaner, but still annoying iPhone 11 naming structure last September: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. And we now expect Apple to launch an iPhone 12 in September, a name that will probably follow last year’s structure by adding Pro and Pro Max.

Unlike the MacBook and iPad, which do not need a numbering system to make sense, Apple has to resort to numbers to help buyers understand which is the cheapest iPhone it sells and which is the latest model. Walk into an Apple store today, and you’ll be able to buy any iPhone model from the cheapest 64GB iPhone 8 to the most expensive 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max.

That’s why resorting to a much simpler naming scheme for the iPhone that would ditch the numbering system makes a lot of sense, and that’s what Apple is now rumored to be planning for the product we’ve been referring to as the iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2. We haven’t had a simple “iPhone” since the original model, so a return to basics would be amazing, especially given what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S20 this year in terms of product names.

The rumor comes from YouTube channel FrontPageTech, which says it got the intel from a source familiar with Apple’s plans. iPhone is a much cleaner name for a product that won’t get annual updates, a product that could be the gateway drug to the Apple ecosystem for millions of new users.

The same source said that Apple will make two iPhone models when it comes to storage, including a $399 64GB version and a $449 128GB model. The source said that if Apple holds an event to announce the device, it’ll be scheduled for either March 30th or March 31st, which is in line with a recent leak. However, Apple supposedly hasn’t decided on whether to host the late March event because of iPhone production issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak that’s still keeping factories closed in China.

As with other leaks, this is just a rumor so far, so don’t get excited about this new iPhone just yet. You can watch the full video below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.