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Why Wait for 8? The First iPhone 9 Rumor Emerges

Are you getting excited about the iPhone 8, the next version of Apple's smartphone that's widely expected to arrive this fall? Can't get enough of all those iPhone 8 rumors regarding the phone's new design, its edge-to-edge OLED panel and other anticipated features like support for augmented reality and wireless charging? Well, get with the times, friend. The true iPhone rumor-monger is already talking about the iPhone 9.

An iPhone 8 concept design (Credit: Techconfigurations/YouTube)

(Image credit: An iPhone 8 concept design (Credit: Techconfigurations/YouTube))

Yes, that's the iPhone 9 — the phone Apple would release after the iPhone 8, which is the phone Apple is yet to release. in other words, we're talking about a device that won't see the light of day until the second half of 2018. That seems a bit early to start cranking up the rumor mill.

And yet, cranking away is that iPhone 9 rumor mill thanks to a report in Korean publication The Bell highlighted by the Korea Herald and spotted by Mac Rumors. The report claims that Samsung will supply OLED panels for future Apple phones, with the 2018 model coming in 5.28- and 6.46-inch sizes.

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That would be a bit of departure from what we're hearing is in store for the iPhone 8. The most popular rumor surrounding Apple's smartphone plans for this fall suggest that Apple will release three phones: modest updates to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, along with a dramatically different new model, the iPhone 8, which would boast a 5.8-inch screen.

Should The Bell's report prove accurate — and keep in mind, it's reporting on phones that are a year away from going into production — that means Apple would launch a newly designed phone this year, followed by even more new designs in 2018. Say that out loud, and it sounds a bit daffy.

The report has some basis in reality. Samsung is reportedly supplying OLED panels for this year's iPhone with Apple looking like it's making the switch from the LCD screens it's used in previous models. With OLED screens in short supply, it makes sense that Apple would stick with Samsung for displays on its circa-2018 phones.

Still, the biggest thing working against this rumor is the calendar. There's a lot of time between now and the fall 2018 iPhone 9 launch, and lots of different rumors are likely to bubble up between now and then. Consider the ever evolving rumors we keep hearing about the iPhone 8 — you know, the phone we're going to see long before the iPhone 9 ever arrives.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.