As with me, a smaller group of people have been uncomfortable with larger and larger phones. Years ago, the phablet was an unusual item--a phone too big to be considered a phone. Now, it's commonplace, especially since iPhone X. Samsung's Galaxy Note has been around for a while, but it still seemed a niche product.
The iPhone 8 has continued but has not truly been updated and of course, there would not be an iPhone 9. As of the next spring (March/April 2020), there should be a replacement that could be called iPhone SE 2. Given that the iPhone SE was based on the iPhone 5, but with more advanced internal hardware, it's easy to predict a similar treatment for the iPhone 8. Whether the name will be used or not doesn't matter. They could call it the iPhone 11 mini, for all I care. Having the A13 processor and 3 GB of RAM seems worth the price of US$399/US$499 for 64 GB or 128 GB of storage.
I told Apple that, without a successor to the iPhone 8, I would consider switching back to Android. There aren't many Android-based phones I like but Razer and Asus have phones strong enough to get my attention. Whether I'll grind my teeth every time I read some security glitch or not, who knows? After my Asus/Google Nexus 7 tablet never really was in sync with Android, I didn't feel great about using it and gave it to someone who clamored for a tablet. He lost it within a month. I've looked at the Razer Phone 2 for an alternative, if the iPhone 8 replacement doesn't happen. Of all the Android-based phones, this one seems to come from a company that is enthusiastic about making something interesting.
It's been suggested that the iPhone 8 replacement will not be named SE 2 but iPhone 9. That would suggest an end to the 4.7 inch display phones.
Update 2020.02.17: My iPhone 8 battery has been beaten regularly by iOS 13--lately 13.1.1--and it isn't recovering. The battery health states that it the battery is at 83% of new capacity. That's close to replacement time. After nearly 2 years, that is understandable. I'm considering a replacement for the battery in my 256 GB over a new, more powerful phone with a new battery. If they're still US$79, isn't worth the money, especially when no phone payments (one time or monthly) would be necessary for a while. US$27.09 each month would be good to save.
Hopefully, the rumors are true and that there will be a media event on 31 March and the actual launch on the 3rd of April.
I've seen another rumor that it won't be a 4.7 inch display but a bigger display of over 5 inches. That might suggest an edge-to-edge display, which isn't likely in a budget phone.
Update 2020.04.15: Tax Day is here and so is the iPhone 8 replacement, the iPhone SE.
US$399, $449, and $549 for 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB isn't too bad, especially since it's got the same processing unit as the iPhone 11. The camera is somewhat different with some depth (of field) control. How much is optical and how much is digital remains to be seen.
Considering how warn my battery is, better with 13.4.1 than earlier releases, but losing power quickly, it's probably better to put US$79 toward the $549 model, so I don't have to give up capacity.
Update 2020.05.22: Sprint just offered me a 18 month lease with $0.00 payments. I ended up with the 256 GB model since I already have an iPhone 8 like that, and it cost me US$150 + tax up front.
This is possibly the first time since September 2000, when I wasn't with Sprint, that they offered me something better than expected. That time, I got a Motorola StarTac for $9.99.
Not only was the monthly lease payment waived, but so was the $30 upgrade/activation fee. We'll see what happens when I get the phone. Still, it's a great deal compared to paying $79 for a battery swap on a two year old phone. The latest reviews show that the processing power is better than most anything else on the market, expensive or inexpensive.
I posted something on Instagram and someone complained about my buying so much storage, saying that Apple should allow removable storage. If there was a possibility of that working as well as internal storage, it would be expensive. I've worked on a number of big iron systems that had something called Single Level Store--every drive was meant to work as one. That was the only time I saw a system work well with multiple, different kinds of drives, but they were all similar with a certain hardware interface, and there was no inbuilt, dedicated storage, so everything had to work together well.
I think I will be surprised at how good the new phone will be.