Apple is planning to release an iPhone 9 in two different screen sizes, replacing the iPhone 8 as its entry-level smartphone. The information comes courtesy of 9to5Mac, which has found snippets of code within iOS 14 lending credence to the existence of the long-rumored phone and it's larger-screened sibling.
9to5Mac doesn't share the specific code in its report, but says what it's seen within iOS 14 points to a 5.5-inch sized iPhone 9 (the "Plus") to go along with the standard 4.7-inch version. That would make sense, because Apple offers both size variants for the existing iPhone 8. The new phone will apparently be powered by the A13 Bionic chip, the same processor found in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
Besides attracting new customers who may be price sensitive, a refresh of the iPhone 8 could also entice upgrades from people who continue to happily use older iPhones and may not want be willing to shell out for a high-end device, like the expected iPhone 12, 12 Max, and 12 Pro flagship phones.
The iPhone 9 will likely be iterative — It's speculated that the iPhone 9 will adopt the same or a similar design to the iPhone 8, including the same physical home button with Touch ID. Apple would be smart to use the same design and naming scheme for another year or two — the iPhone 8 was a well-regarded phone, and the company can reasonably get another year out of the design scheme used in both the iPhone 7 and 8. But by throwing in a faster processor, the iPhone 9 would be able to keep up with the latest version of iOS.
Also more cynically, Apple skipped over the iPhone "9" naming convention in its premium line when it released the iPhone X, so it'd just be easy to wait for the symbolic name change to release a completely new design, and it would fill the gap.