iPhone 9 Plus confirmed — and that’s bad news for Pixel 4a

(Image credit: @OnLeaks/iGeeksBlog)

The iPhone 9, whenever we do finally get to see it, will definitely have a larger "Plus" version available, which could prove a big advantage in its battle for sales against the Google Pixel 4a.

9to5Mac found within the code of the upcoming iOS 14 operating system update evidence of both the iPhone 9 and a larger version of it. The code also confirmed the use of Apple's A13 Bionic SoC and a solid state Home button.

The iPhone 8, from which the iPhone 9 is set to borrow from heavily, features both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display on its standard and Plus versions. The idea of an iPhone 9 Plus was always therefore an option, but we have not seen much supporting evidence of it until now.

We'd previously heard that an iPhone 9 Plus would come with a new kind of Touch ID fingerprint reader. Like we've seen on the Samsung Galaxy S10e and the Huawei Nova 5T, the sensor would be fitted into the power button. It's certainly convenient for unlocking your phone quickly, so we'll be happy if Apple does turn out to be doing this.

This does mean you won't get Face ID on the iPhone 9, which while a secure and fast security method on the iPhone 11 series, isn't a dealbreaker. You will still be able to use NFC for Apple Pay and Express Transit (paying for public transport without needing to use an ID check) though, which is more important in a world where more and more payments are becoming contactless.

The Pixel 4a, Google's next mid-range phone after last year's excellent Pixel 3a, will be going up against the iPhone 9 no matter what. There have been rumors that Google will skip making an XL variant of the 4a.

Google has made standard and large versions of all its handsets since the original Pixel, but not having an equivalent model to an iPhone 9 Plus would put Google on the defensive.

We have not heard what the iPhone 9 Plus could cost, but both the iPhone 9 and Pixel 4a are expected to start at $399.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.