Something to look forward to: It's no secret that Apple's flagship smartphones tend to be on the expensive side. Though older devices in the company's line-up can usually be had at a lower price, it's rare for the company to offer a truly-affordable new iPhone with modern features and software. However, that just might change in the near future: new reports claim Apple is working on a 5.5-inch, "entry-level" iPhone.

This information comes courtesy of 9to5Mac, who found out some information about the upcoming device while digging through the code for iOS 14. The code referenced a 5.5-inch iPhone; likely the "Plus" variant of the 4.7-inch entry-level device we reported on in late January. Though we're not sure exactly what these devices will be branded, many outlets (ourselves included) are calling them the iPhone 9 and 9 Plus, so we'll do the same here.

In theory, the smartphones will seek to replace the aging iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, instead of newer flagships like the iPhone 11. Indeed, they will even have the same Touch ID-enabled solid-state hardware buttons as the former. However, the key difference here lies in the hardware: the 9 and 9 Plus are expected to house an A13 Bionic processor, which is the same chip you'll find within the iPhone 11.

Ideally, that should mean flagship-like performance at a much lower cost (hopefully), though we're sure there will be a few trade-offs. We wouldn't be surprised if the screen resolution or panel type gets a downgrade, like the iPhone XR, and 9to5Mac was able to confirm that the 9 and 9 Plus won't support Face ID.

Of course, the lack of Face ID might not be a downside for some. Face unlock technology, while impressive, has proven easy to fool in the past, and touch ID is arguably more convenient in certain scenarios (though it may come down to personal preference). Regardless, if that is a problem for you, perhaps some of the iPhone 9 and 9 Plus' other planned features will make up for it: the devices will support Apple Pay, Express Transit, as well as the ability to "scan NFC tags in the background."

We don't have many other important details to go over here, but we look forward to seeing what iPhone-related news Apple has up its sleeves in the coming weeks and months. 9to5Mac says the new iPhones may release as soon as this spring, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Middle image credit: Shutterstock.