Of all the things that were announced at Apple's 2018 iPhone event last month, an iPhone 9 was not one of them. Why? Let us explain in detail below. 

If you just want to cut to the chase, the iPhone XR is the closest thing to an iPhone 9 you'll ever get. Check out our latest iPhone XR deals.

So where is iPhone 9?

Last year we had the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. If we're honest, they probably should have been called the iPhone 8S and 8S Plus as, while they introduced several new features such as wireless charging, they were essentially enhancements of the existing iPhone 7. Apple usually uses the 'S' suffix to denote a refresh as opposed to a complete redesign.

However, Apple had a couple of numbers to play with.

That's because last year we also got the iPhone X, which Apple refers to as the iPhone 10. The problem is that nobody actually calls it that - most people say "iPhone EX". 

So that's led to a bit of confusion over the naming for most people and has raised the legitimate question - where is the iPhone 9? Let's look at iPhone X a bit more to find out why...

Why was there an iPhone X?

iPhone X or iPhone 10 was introduced alongside iPhone 8 for a very good reason - last year was the 10th anniversary of the iPhone's original unveiling by Steve Jobs in January 2007 and eventual release during the latter part of that year.

But iPhone X also represented a new start for iPhone. iPhone X heralded a new design that has remained for this year's devices. There's a similar notch at the top, plus the near bezel-free surround around the screen. It was clear from its statements around iPhone X that this was the direction iPhone was heading in generally and that's been proved the case by this year's three new devices. 

Gone was the traditional home button, replaced by Face ID. While the iPhone 7 and 8 (as well as their Plus equivalents) will still be available into 2019, the message is clear: Face ID phones are the way forward for Apple.

We doubt whether there will still be Touch ID iPhones on sale by Apple's 2020 iPhone launch, which as things stand will see the iPhone XIS and XIS Plus released (we think it will be the turn of iPhone XI and XI Max next year).

Looking for iPhone 9? You need iPhone XR

The iPhone X was represented as the "future of iPhone" and so not only would future phones look like iPhone X successors, they would also be named in a similar way to the 10th anniversary phone, too.

And that's why there's no iPhone 9; those days have gone. And if you want to know what you should buy if you were planning to get the iPhone 8's successor, an iPhone 9, then you need to check out the new iPhone XR, or 10-R as Apple want it to be pronounced (although we bet most people will just say XR).

A final note; it's not that unusual for companies to miss out a sequential number in product names. Sometimes this is done because a number is considered to be unlucky in some countries.

But often it's for the same reason that Apple skipped 9 - because the company wants to signify a new beginning for a product, just as Microsoft did when it skipped Windows 9 and went straight to Windows 10 from Windows 8 (OK, it was Windows 8.1 for the pedants out there).