The heavily-anticipated iPhone 9 (iPhone SE 2) could be gearing up for full production in the following weeks as Apple has just struck a vital relationship with Taiwan-based compound semiconductor manufacturers, a new report suggests.
The same report added that the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 is slated to feature structured-light 3D sensors, alongside with VCSEL components – all set to be manufactured by WIN Semiconductors Corp.. Meanwhile, TSMC's affiliate Xintec is tasked to process the diffractive optical elements of the device.
While the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 appears to be finally on track now, the same cannot be said with the release of the iPhone 12 series. Apple has reportedly stopped sending its engineers to China to assist the Engineering Validation Test or EVT stage of the said series, no thanks to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
What To Expect From The iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2
Dubbed as the new "budget" smartphone iteration of the iPhone series, the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 is tipped to feature a design akin to the iPhone 8.
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The iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 could also launch with Apple's legacy security feature, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Note that the security perk was officially diminished with the introduction of the 2018 iPhones. It is also assumed that the phone will come with the familiar thick bezels.
In terms of the polarizing notch at the top, nothing is very much certain at the time of this writing as recent rumors indicate that Apple could be releasing two variants of the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2. One of these is the already speculated design which will hark back to that of the iPhone 8's, while the other one is pointing to an iPhone with a notch on it.
The latter of the two, if it pans out, should come with the TrueDepth sensor housed in a notch that is, of course, placed right on the top of the screen for the phone's Face ID.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 is expected to sport a single camera on its rear, a la the one we've seen on the iPhone XR.
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Under the hood, however, the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 is tipped to be powered by Apple's new A13 Bionic chipset, the same SoC that powers the iPhone 11 lineup. The phone is also speculated to ship with the latest iOS 13 out of the box.
The Mysterious AirPods Pro Lite
Apart from the iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2, the report also revealed that Apple is working with its newly-established supply chain partners in Taiwan for its slew of upcoming products such as the new Apple Watch, iMac, iPad, and AirPods Pro Lite.
At the moment, there is no further, key details surrounding the "Lite" version of the AirPods Pro. But as Apple's AirPods Pro has proven to be popular since its launch, it's no surprise that Apple is mulling over releasing a "budget" version of it.
With the "Lite" moniker, you can expect that AirPods Pro Lite to retail cheaper when it is released.