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Apple iPhone 9 and iPhone 10: what happened to them?

The iPhone 9 never appeared, but the iPhone 10 did - it was called iPhone X

In 2017 Apple released the iPhone 8 and followed it up with the very high-end iPhone X (shown), skipping over the iPhone 9 in the process.

Yep, that’s right – there was no iPhone 9. Apple decided that the iPhone X – pronounced ‘iPhone 10’ was a new beginning for iPhone, so jumped over the number 9. Quite why it did this is an open question, but it was exactly the same for Microsoft when it wanted to reinvent Windows. We said goodbye to Windows 8 and hello to the shiny Windows 10, now superseded by Windows 11.

So was there anything like an iPhone 9? The answer to that was ‘yes, there was’ because the iPhone XR was, essentially a lesser version of the iPhone X and its follow up, the iPhone XS. So in a way, the iPhone XR was the iPhone 9.

The rumours back in 2018 were correct: “the iPhone XS will have a larger Max version… but there will also be a cheaper iPhone X-like iPhone 9, using some lower-end components. Here’s the rub: it might also be larger than the iPhone X.” And yes, that became iPhone XR, with a larger 6.1-inch LCD display versus a 5.8-inch OLED in the iPhone X.

However, the iPhone XR has long been consigned to the bin marked ‘no longer manufactured’. It could also be said that the 2020 iPhone SE also fitted into that iPhone 9 slot, but certainly not the 2022 iPhone SE given that it has some pretty advanced internals similar to the iPhone 13. That would be a bit of a stretch.

iPhone chronology (2017-present)

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Also don’t forget to check out our guide to each and every currently available iPhone