The 3 Reasons Why Apple Never Released the iPhone 9

By Steven, on June 9, 2023 - 2 min read

Do you remember, in 2017 Apple announced the release of 3 new iPhones:

  • iPhone 8,
  • iPhone 8 Plus,
  • and the enigmatic iPhone X.

At that time, we all asked ourselves the same question… But where is the iPhone 9? Why did Apple decide to skip this number and go straight to the iPhone X? Do they have trouble counting or is it a calculated decision?

Well, we were intrigued as well. So we did some research and found out.

Here are the 3 reasons that led Apple to give up on the iPhone 9 and opt for the iconic iPhone X.

The 10th anniversary of the iPhone: a special occasion

One of the major reasons behind this decision is that the iPhone X marked the 10th anniversary of the release of the first iPhone.

The “X” being the Roman numeral for 10, it seemed logical to celebrate this milestone with a special model instead of a simple iPhone 9.

The iPhone X thus stood out not only by its name, but also by major technological advancements that were highlighted during its presentation.

A significant technological breakthrough between models

Apple took advantage of this occasion to introduce significant upgrades between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, such as the integration of Face ID and the transformation of the phone’s façade into an almost full screen.

The name “iPhone 9” would not have sufficiently highlighted this crucial difference with the previous models.

Thus, choosing the name “iPhone X” was a way to show consumers that this smartphone represented a true revolution in the iPhone lineup.

A strategic marketing choice

In the end, the choice to bypass the iPhone 9 was mainly driven by a well-thought-out marketing strategy.

By providing consumers with a “premium” alternative with the iPhone X, Apple created a decisive choice between the “good” (iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) and “best” (iPhone X) ranges.

By doing so, Apple reinforced its brand image by highlighting the innovation and exclusivity of the iPhone X, thus contributing to its commercial success.

In summary: forgetting about the iPhone 9, a calculated choice

It is clear that Apple’s decision to skip the iPhone 9 was not due to superstition or chance.

On the contrary, it was a deliberate and well-thought-out choice to:

  • celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone,
  • highlight the major technological advancements of the iPhone X,
  • and adopt an effective marketing strategy.

Regardless of the reasons, this bold choice paid off for Apple, as the iPhone X became a resounding success and continues to influence the design of subsequent models.