The iPhone 9 Plus probably doesn't exist – and it probably never will. Sure, that's a strange way to start an in-depth article like this, but what we're far more likely to see come September 2018 is the iPhone 11 Plus – or, depending on how Apple chooses to word it, iPhone XI Plus or even X2 Plus.
So why have we led with iPhone 9 Plus? Simple really, you guys. We're seeing way more of you searching for iPhone 9 Plus than iPhone 11 Plus at the moment, so we're here to set the record straight on what you're looking for and what you should be searching for.
In short: iPhone 11 Plus, not iPhone 9 Plus. We think that because of the number of rumors and leaks currently circulating that point to three new iPhones in 2018, with a successor to the iPhone X (iPhone 11) arriving alongside a super-sized version of that successor and a 'cheaper' iPhone 9 (name also TBC).
There you have it – some method to our madness, and in this article we'll go through all the rumors and leaks, so that you know what to expect from the iPhone 9 Plus/iPhone 11 Plus when it arrives.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A super-sized, premium iPhone
- When is it out? Probably September 2018
- What will it cost? An awful lot, even more than the iPhone X
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus release date
Apple tends to run its iPhone launch schedule like clockwork, which means we're looking at the second week of September for the iPhone 11 Plus launch.
Going on what Apple has done in the past, we expect the iPhone 11 Plus release date to be a week or two after the launch – almost certainly before the end of September.
We've already seen rumors that Apple may start a trial production of the iPhone 11 (and thus likely the 11 Plus too) in the second quarter of 2018, which would put it on track to deliver the phones on that schedule.
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus price
The iPhone 11 Plus is tipped to be the bigger sibling to the iPhone 11, which itself will be the successor to the iPhone X.
What does that mean? A big price tag. The iPhone X was the most expensive iPhone ever when it landed in 2017, by quite some way, which means the iPhone 11 Plus is probably going to have an even loftier asking price.
However, Apple may be looking to keep an cap on things to some extent, with reports suggesting it's reduced the cost of some components by 10%, and may also quit bundling a headphone adapter with its new phones to further reduce costs.
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus design
- Same design as the iPhone X, but bigger
- Yet smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus
Apart from being bigger, various leaks suggest the iPhone 11 Plus design won't be all that much different from the iPhone X it takes cues from, with Apple likely to focus more on internal upgrades rather than stylistic tweaks.
The CAD schematics below, acquired by MySmartPrice and OnLeaks, are said to be based on the larger-screened iPhone. It accurate, there will be very little visual difference between the iPhone 11 Plus and iPhone X (other than size).
Another schematic (below) supposedly shows the dimensions of the rumored iPhone 11 Plus, with a claimed height and width of 157.2 x 77.1mm.
That would make the iPhone 11 Plus smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus (158.4 x 78.1mm), which would be impressive considering the 11 Plus is tipped to feature a much larger display (possibly 6.5-inch).
That's roughly in line with a previous rumor that the iPhone XI Plus could have an iPhone 8 Plus-sized body, despite an inch of extra screen – however changes to the camera could mean the phone is 0.2mm thicker, meaning it would be 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.7mm.
A tweet claiming to show the front glass for the three new iPhones lets you see how the handsets will potentially differ in size, with slender bezels around the display and the now-distinctive notch at the top.
While the iPhone 11 Plus will be the largest of the three, the differences between it and the rumored iPhone 11 don't appear to be as great as those between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus display
- Recent rumors point towards a huge 6.5-inch OLED display
No surprise here: the iPhone 11 Plus will have a big screen. In fact, it's tipped to feature the biggest screen Apple has ever put on a smartphone.
The iPhone X broke new ground for the firm, with its 5.7-inch display moving away for the 5.5-inch screens we've been used to since the iPhone 6 Plus way back in 2014.
However, the iPhone 11 Plus could well take iPhone screens to a whole new level, with the most recent rumors suggesting it'll rock up with a 6.5-inch panel with a pixel density of between 480 and 500ppi.
That's a little bigger than the 6.46 inches rumored way back in August 2017 and the 6.3 inches from a leak in December 2017, but 6.5 inches makes more sense – Apple likes to deal in clean numbers, and we can't see it getting caught up in a double decimal debacle.
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus power and cameras
- A new chipset and 4GB of RAM
Apple will more than likely announce a new processor at its iPhone launch in September to replace the A11 Bionic in the 8, 8 Plus and X.
If that's the case, then you can fully expect the the new iPhone 11 Plus to be sporting said processor, and if Apple keeps with its current naming regime it'll be called the A12 Bionic.
A separate rumor has pointed to 4GB of RAM lining up alongside this new chipset, which would be a step up from the 3GB of RAM in the X and 8 Plus.
When it comes to details on the cameras in the iPhone 11 Plus, news is thin on the ground. Going by the various leaks we've seen in the design section, it appears that Apple will stick with the dual rear-facing cameras and a single selfie snapper.
iPhone 9 Plus / 11 Plus battery
- Up to 25% larger battery over 8 Plus
- Fast charger may be included in box
There's potentially good news in the battery department, as according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo the iPhone 11 Plus could benefit from a power pack that's around 3,300mAh/3,400mAh – that's around 25% larger than the battery in the 8 Plus.
Of course, it will be tasked with powering a bigger display, but overall battery performance could be improved thanks to more efficient software (iOS 12) and hardware (new A12 chipset).
And there could be good news for those who often find themselves running out of juice, as Apple is rumored to be considering including a fast charger in the box.