iPhone 9: Cheaper version of Apple's new handset might not be easily available long after release date

Andrew Griffin
People cross the street underneath a billboard advertising the Apple iPhone X on August 15, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Apple's new, cheaper phone could not be readily available for some time after its release date, according to new reports.

The most easily affordable of the three phones that Apple is rumoured to be releasing this week will also probably me the most difficult to actually buy, after reports that it will be supply constrained for some time after it came out.

This year's iPhone line-up will be perhaps its most complicated yet. It will release an updated version of the iPhone X, a larger version of that same phone, and a new model that sits between the two in terms of size, and borrows from their design but removes some of the more premium features.

That model, known as the iPhone 9, is likely to be the most popular of the handsets, given it allows access to iPhone X features at a much cheaper price.

But buying it could prove difficult because Apple has run into problems manufacturing enough of them, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The company has run into issues fitting backlights on the phone's LCD screen, the same report said.

The phone might also be pushed back so that Apple can gauge demand and understand which of the models people will be looking to buy, Bloomberg suggested.

Apple had a staggered and somewhat delayed release date last year, too, though then it applied to the premium iPhone X rather than the cheaper iPhone 8. The premium phone didn't arrive for nearly two months after it was first unveiled at Apple's September event.

All of the new phones are expected to be unveiled at Apple's event in California on 12 September. At least some of them will almost certainly be released in line with previous releases, on the following Friday.

It is still entirely unclear what the cheaper version of the new phone will be called. Multiple names have been suggested, including iPhone 9, iPhone Xc and iPhone Xr – and the Bloomberg report gave backing to the last option