Apple to launch iPhone 9? I can't wait

The rumored new iPhone SE 2 is rumored to enjoy the name iPhone 9. What could be more perfect?

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A successor awaits?

Sarah Tew/CNET

There's been a large hole in my life for the last couple of years.

No, it's not the lack of a MacBook keyboard that works. That hole's existed for just over a year.

This particularly large, two-year hole has been getting bigger every day as it gnaws at my jaws. It began when Apple launched iPhone X.

At the time, data scientists and other numerical experts observed that Apple had skipped a beat. Or rather had skipped iPhone 9.

Rationalist logicians insisted this was because it was the iPhone's 10th anniversary, so Apple wanted to celebrate that. I couldn't help thinking it was just as likely because Samsung had already released its Galaxy S9, so an iPhone 9 wouldn't sound so exciting. And, well, it had an exciting new notch, so it needed an exciting new name.

I still mourned the loss of the 9. It was symbolically awkward that the iPhone had lost its ninth life.

Now, however, a rumor has emerged that the iPhone 9 might rise from the dead. Japanese site MacOtakara is suggesting that the rumored new iPhone SE 2, which may or may not emerge in March, will actually be called iPhone 9. This new phone will allegedly have a 4.7-inch screen, and, goodness, a home button.

It'll surely be for those with slightly smaller hands and tiny suspicions about Face ID. It'll also be a charming trip to the past -- something shiny, but reassuring. Like Michael Bublé.

Some say MacOtakara has purveyed reliable rumors in the past. I wouldn't dream, however, of venturing the actual possibility of this gap in my life being filled.

I hope, however, it is. Not merely for the satisfaction of a sequence restored, but for the adorable prospect of Apple's SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, attempting to give a deeply nuanced explanation for the name.

After all, he's already admitted that the XR in iPhone XR means negative squat. What tale could he concoct to justify the belated appearance of the iPhone 9?

Will he claim nine is Tim Cook's favorite number? Will he insist this was always Apple's devious plan?

Oh, I know. He'll say it's a spontaneous homage to Apple's neighbors, the San Francisco 49ers after they actually reach the Super Bowl again. (Disclosure: No, not a Niners fan.)