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2021 iPhone 9 (SE2) Plus to feature Touch ID power button, LCD display


Apple has an extensive lineup of products planned for the coming months and several new iPhones scheduled for the second half of the year. It also has another smartphone planned for the beginning of 2021, which will reportedly substitute Face ID with Touch ID.

A blend of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 designs


In a research note with TF International Securities published earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed the so-called iPhone 9 Plus (or iPhone SE2 Plus) will blend the best of the iPhone 6/7/8 design with the best of the newer iPhone XR/11 series.


That’s because Apple is planning a modified version of the existing LCD-based all-screen design that ditches Face ID entirely. The move should allow the company to implement a noticeably smaller notch or perhaps even remove it entirely, therefore providing a more immersive viewing experience. 


To ensure buyers are still able to unlock their device securely, though, Apple is reportedly planning to replace its latest biometric technology with the trusted Touch ID implementation it first introduced back in 2013 with the iPhone 5s. 


But unlike previous-generation iPhones, this time around the capacitive fingerprint scanner will be embedded into the side-mounted power key. Ming-Chi Kuo says this is going to offer a “new design” that’ll ensure a great user experience. 

The iPhone 9 Plus will probably replace the iPhone XR


The iPhone 9 Plus will reportedly feature a 5.5-inch display or a 6.1-inch screen. But following today’s information, the latter now seems much more likely.


Apple is expected to position the smartphone as a cheaper yet superior replacement for the iPhone XR when it debuts in March 2021. But if it insists on providing an all-screen design paired with side-mounted Touch ID, it makes much more sense to simply reuse most of the iPhone XR’s structure to keep costs down.


Creating an all-screen smartphone with a 5.5-inch LCD screen is something Apple has never done before and would, therefore, require a completely new body. This move would drive up costs and ultimately defy the point of the iPhone 9 (SE2) series.


It’s also worth pointing out that such a strategy would nicely complement the 2021 iPhone Pro series. Rumor has it Apple is developing smartphones that incorporate Face ID in a smaller notch and under-display Face ID, one of which may also ditch the Lightning connector. 

It will sit alongside the compact iPhone 9


As the upcoming smartphone’s name clearly indicates, the iPhone 9 Plus will ultimately sit alongside the smaller iPhone 9 when it launches in the first quarter of 2021.


The latter, for those of you that aren’t yet aware or simply need a refresh, is expected to couple the iPhone 11’s powerful A13 Bionic chipset and a decent 3GB of RAM with the 4.7-inch LCD screen and thick bezels featured on the iPhone 8

A single rear camera, likely borrowed from the iPhone 11, that can take advantage of Night Mode is expected to complete the package alongside iOS 13 straight out of the box and a tiny 1,821mAh cell. Fortunately, the increased efficiency of the chipset means the phone’s battery life should be better than that of the iPhone 8. 


Apple is expected to price the iPhone 9 at $399 and start shipments in the final week of March. However, the recent coronavirus outbreak’s impact on Apple’s supply chain in China means the stock could be relatively limited at launch.


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