Code found in the iOS 13.4.5 beta has hinted at support for an upcoming low-end Touch ID iPhone with CarKey car unlocking capabilities. The code was found by 9to5Mac and seems to suggest a near-future iOS update will coincide with the release of CarKey and the iPhone 9.
Apple has long been rumoured to release a low-cost iPhone with the body of an iPhone 8 and the internals of an iPhone 11. It is widely expected that the company will unveil the phone this month, with the name iPhone 9 mooted, where once the industry expected the iPhone SE 2.
The 9to5Mac report explains:
“iOS 13.4.5 makes it clear that there’s an iPhone model with built-in Touch ID compatible with CarKey and Express Transit cards with power reserve. As the iPhone 8 doesn’t have that combination of features, this code probably refers to the new iPhone 9 that had already leaked in the iOS 14 code.
“In another new line of code from iOS 13.4.5 beta, Apple has added a message that says “Your device does not support Car Key.” which makes us believe that older iPhone models will not have the CarKey feature.”
It’s some granular snooping for sure, but is a technical clue that adds to yesterday’s reports of iPhone 9 cases arriving at Best Buy stores in the US.
With the coronavirus pandemic in full effect across the globe, Apple has moved WWDC entirely online and recently released the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro without an event. If the iPhone 9 turns out to be for real, we might well see a similarly low key announcement soon.