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Rumors of an inexpensive new entry-level iPhone have been circulating for over a year now, alternating between the names “iPhone SE 2” and “iPhone 9.” A new video posted on social media (via Stefan Constantine) appears to show the device, and while it has some familiar design cues from prior iPhones, it’s technically a “new” design rather than what was anticipated — a cut-rate rehash of the iPhone 7.
In short, the apparent iPhone looks like a thinner, taller iPhone 4, borrowing its flat metal edges rather than the curved sides of most recent iPhone models. Other elements, including a physical Home button with Touch ID and an all-glass back, look to have been taken from the iPhone 8, while the aqua blue color looks very similar to the tone used for last year’s iPhone 11.
Unsurprisingly, the device sports only a single rear camera and the common side switch, buttons, and holes found on other iPhones. A charging port sits on the bottom between two sets of speaker and microphone grilles, with antenna lines in the same general side/corner locations as prior models. Unlike a somewhat similar leak of an alleged prototype back in 2018, it lacks a headphone port and appears to have different dimensions, with different volume button shapes.
While the device has numerous touches that seemingly make it a legitimate leak, one detail is out of place: the word iPhone on the back. Apple dropped that branding from the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models last year, leaving only its own logo centered on the rear — the location of its inductive wireless charging area.
Reports have claimed that the new iPhone will arrive at an aggressive $399 starting price point, though it’s entirely possible given Apple’s track record that it will instead debut at $449 to $499 depending on capabilities. The new model is expected to debut as soon as March, and share some design language with iPhone 12 series models that are planned for release later this year. Manufacturing and retail availability of the new model may have been delayed, however, by the coronavirus epidemic in China.
Updated at 6:30p.m. Pacific: The device appears to be virtually identical to an aftermarket “squarish housing” for the iPhone 8, reducing the likelihood that the real “iPhone 9” will actually look like this. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see how similar or different the actual model looks when it’s officially revealed by Apple — or leaked ahead of time by another source.
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