Fingers crossed the 9 is just an up-graded 7,same lay out, stereo front speakers, 3.5 mm, etc etc,just more grunt, but I have a feeling they will follow everyone else and we will lose the things that attracted lots of us in the first place, like the speakers, the different styling, 3.mm etc etc, too few choices of "design" and type in the market today, we should be seeing more different designs/layouts, but everyone is following/cloning each other down one narrow way !!!
If they just use Axon 7 and power it by SD845 its already one of the best phones on the market and especially at mid range price
Finally, I've been waiting for a sequel of the Axon 7 for 2 years now.
If they make another phone for the market with a notch I do not think they would be welcomed warmly.