The next affordable iPhone was curiously absent from Apple’s latest big announcement and it was probably for the best. The new iPad Pro would have easily hogged the spotlight, pushing the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9, whatever its name will be, into the background. Its time will surely come and it could actually be around the corner. And if this new evidence coming from iOS 13.4.5 is any hint, it could pack quite a nice set of features despite its aged design.
To some extent, this gives weight to speculation it will be called the iPhone 9. Based on code that 9to5Mac extracted from the beta of the upcoming iOS update, there will be an iPhone with Touch ID. Of course, that could refer to any number of iPhone models older than the iPhone X, but there is more that suggests it could be a completely new iPhone.
In particular, that piece of code is related to CarKey, the feature that will allow remote control of a smart car. Currently, the unreleased API has been found to work with Face ID and this is the first sighting of the feature referring to Touch ID support.
The third piece of the puzzle is Express Transit Card, which can be used in conjunction with CarKey to unlock cars even when the phone is turned off. This is through the power reserve feature that no iPhone with Touch ID supports. That actually arrived starting with the iPhone Xs and Xr models.
In other words, no current iPhone exists that has Touch ID and Express Transit Card’s power reserve feature in one. This could very well be referring to the upcoming “cheap” iPhone that will support the latest hardware but swaps out Face ID for good old Touch ID instead.