iPhone 6S release date, news and features

Thu, Sep 10, 2015

iPhone, Mobile

iPhone 6S release date, news and features

Apple’s new iPhone gets new specs and features

iPhone 6S is how Apple intends to spell success as of today, even though the phone’s design doesn’t look all that different and it isn’t really called the iPhone 7 after all.

With the new iPhone, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, as a teacher resembling Apple CEO Tim Cook may have once told you. The same applies to the updated iPhone 6S Plus, too.

  • Our hands on review of the iPhone 6S

The big iPhone 6S news is that you’re in for a significant specs upgrade, with a faster performing phone, a 3D Touch screen and a much better camera.

Is there enough here for an upgrade? Let’s break down all of the details, from the iPhone 6S release date and price to the design, camera and battery life.

iPhone 6S release date

Apple’s press conference at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco acts as the new iPhone launch date, but it isn’t on sale just yet.

iPhone 6S news

The actual iPhone 6S release date is Friday, September 25 in a dozen countries, including the US, UK and Australia. You can order it before then, however, starting Saturday, September 12.

Apple isn’t banning lines in front of its stores for the iPhone 6S release date like it did for Apple Watch, but pre-orders are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins may be disappointed on day one.

iPhone 6S price

Apple answered all of the new iPhone rumors today, including the all-important question: how much is iPhone 6S?

“Any iPhone you want is pretty affordable,” according to Apple, which of course means it’s going to be just as expensive. I mean, Apple never ever uses soft descriptors like “pretty.” It’s more into “definitely” and “unquestionably.”

iPhone 6S news

The iPhone 6S price is $649 in the US, £539 in the UK and AU$1,079 in Australia. That’s the same price as last year’s iPhone 6. It’ll be $199 in the US on a two-year contract.

That’s for the entry-level configuration, which again starts at a paltry 16GB. The iPhone 6S in a more accommodating 64GB is $749 (£619, AU$1,229) and 128GB is $849, £699 and AU$1,379.

That’s not a price change, but a revision is being made to the way US consumers go about buying the new iPhone. Instead of “starting at $199,” it’ll cost around $22 to $30 a month from most carriers. Apple had to pivot to also mention this monthly device payment plans are being offered by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint T-Mobile and others.

It also mentioned that it’s devising its own “upgrade every year” policy through the Apple Store. It’s officially called the “iPhone Upgrade Program” and includes Apple Care+ staring at $32 a month in the US.

iPhone 6S: it won’t bend

Apple attacked last year’s iPhone 6 Bendgate problems today head on, almost exactly like it addressed iPhone 4 AntennaGate flaws when the iPhone 4S was announced.

iPhone 6S news

iPhone 6S features more durability thanks to less pliable 7000-series aluminum. Apple didn’t go into the science of it, but it likely has corrosion-prone zinc compounds and a thicker anodization coating prevents said corrosion.

Your ultra-thin phone may be safe in your back pocket again, although I still wouldn’t suggest that without an iPhone 6S case.

iPhone 6S rose gold color and dimensions

There’s a new rose gold color with the new iPhone 6S. This reflects the pinkish gold color of the Apple Watch that released earlier this year.
iPhone 6S news

It joins existing new iPhone colors, gold, space gray and silver. Other than that, the iPhone 6S looks exactly the same as last year’s iPhone 6 on the outside.

It’s hard to tell with the naked eye, but the dimensions are bigger by a few millimeters. It’s 0.2mm thicker and 0.1mm wider and 0.2mm taller. There’s still an iPhone 6S camera bump, I’m afraid.

3D Touch

The next-generation of multi-touch is here, and it’s indeed called 3D Touch, confirming all of the rumors in the lead up to today’s Apple live event.

iPhone 6S news

Apple executive Craig Federighi gave the first live demo of 3D Touch, and it works a lot like Force Touch on the Apple Watch or new MacBook trackpad.

It uses a lot of pop-up windows and translucent backgrounds after you apply a little bit of pressure on the screen to, say, open an email. You never really need to navigate away from the inbox to read and even reply to emails.

“Take action on apps without even having to open them,” explained Federighi. From the home screen, he was able to make calls to recent contacts and take “emergency selfies” right from the front facing camera, all without opening the usual app menus.

3D Touch is also going to change playing games on iPhone 6S, with new developers taking advantage of the new multitouch technology in their interactive apps.

New iPhone 6S camera

At long last, there’s going to be a much-improved iPhone 6S, and Apple showed off the accurate skin tones and incredible depth of field possible. This is thanks to photos taken with the new 12MP camera sensor.

iPhone 6S news

Everything from close-up macro shots with high levels of detail to sweeping panoramic photos without visible stitching lines could rival the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5.

Videos are now shots in 4K, with 8 million pixels on the rear camera. The front-facing camera will now be 5MP, and a TrueTone flash is simulated thanks to the Retina display that lights up three times brighter than normal to light for darkened scenes.

Finally, Apple said it invented “Live Photos,” with short bursts of moving pictures and sounds using the iSight camera. It says it won’t take up too much space on your space-limited 16GB new iPhone.

Faster than ever

Apple claims that Wi-Fi is twice as fast when using the new iPhone 6S. That means the slowdown on your phone’s connection at home and at work can properly be blamed on your ISP.

iPhone 6S news

More importantly, the iPhone 6S specs include the all-new A9 processor with with embedded M8 motion coprocessor. It’s not as speedy as the iPad Pro A9X chip, but it’ll be plenty fast for a new phone.

Apple didn’t announce whether or not the iPhone 6S includes 2GB of RAM, but that’s been the widely reported speculation. We’ll have to see the full specs list or tear into the phone on September 25 to find out.

Apple’s iPhone 6S announcement is happening right now. Apple just announcedthe iPad Pro, and we’ll be live at the event to bring you all the latest on the new iPhone. You can follow the action with our Apple iPhone launch liveblog.

Wondering what’s going to happen with the iPhone 7 this year? Bad news: it’s going to be the iPhone 6S, in all likelihood. Good news: it’s going to be announced today, September 9.

We’re also expecting a larger model to arrive too, which would take over from the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’ll probably be imaginatively named the iPhone 6S Plus.

And if that wasn’t enough, Apple is also rumoured to be launching the iPhone 6Calongside the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and its iOS 9 software as well.

Here’s the inside skinny: it looks like the iPhone 6S will look very similar to the current iPhone 6, but will have fancy new features like Force Touch (enabling new ways of interacting with the phone) and a longer lasting battery.

But there’s already a whole heap of other rumors swirling round about the next iPhone, so we’ve gathered them all together and split them up into handy bit sized chunks for your enjoyment. Go on, tuck in.

  • iPhone 6S Plus: what we want to see

Latest update: Siri is tipped to get some new smarts, including the ability to be always listening out for your voice. Creepy.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple’s next flagship iPhone
  • When will it be announced? Wednesday, September 9 in San Francisco
  • When is it out? Rumors point to a Friday, September 18 release date
  • What will it cost? A lot, at least £539 / $649 / AU$999

iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 release date

Apple has confirmed the likely iPhone 6S announcement for September 9. That’s a Wednesday (today, in fact!) this time, when traditionally the iPhone is announced on a Tuesday.

The invite we were sent for the event came with a vibrant Apple logo design with the words “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

iPhone 6S invite

The latest leaks from two major German carriers have reported that it will go on sale on September 18, which makes sense, as the second Friday after the announcement is when Apple tends to start selling its phones.

An earlier leaked Vodafone email also claimed the iPhone 6S will be arriving in September. However, it states that it will be later in the month on September 25.

  • Best iPhone 6 deals in the UK this month

The new phones are already floating around though – web traffic at mobile marketing firm Fiksu has shown the ‘iPhone 8,1’ and ‘iPhone 8,2’ are accessing the servers. The iPhone 6 Plus is known as the iPhone 7,1 and the iPhone 6 as the iPhone 7,2, so it seems successors do exist and have been in heavy testing.

Apple already started ordering camera sensors from Sony for the iPhone 6C, according to GSM Dome, which follows news that Samsung is reportedly busy producing the A9 processor expected to be included in the iPhone 6S. So all of the iPhone 6S/7 models seem well on target for the September launch.

iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 design

The front panel for the iPhone 6S has supposedly been snapped coming off the production line in China and it looks much the same as that on the iPhone 6. It’s not a big surprise: we never expect big design changes on the S models of the iPhone.

This follows the first photos of what might be the iPhone 6S, or at least of its case, leaked a little while back which again suggest it will look identical to the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6S LEAK
Is this the iPhone 6S shell? (credit: 9to5Mac)

Want more leaked shots? Well you’ve got it, as further images have sneaked online claiming to show parts for the iPhone 6S hot off the production line – and yet again it all looks very familiar.

iPhone 6S LEAK
More snaps of the iPhone 6S (credit: GeekBar)

A video, allegedly of the same device, has surfaced – which sadly means the iPhone 6S will, as predicted, look identical to the iPhone 6 but with fancier innards.

However while it might have the same dimensions, a patent suggests there’s a possibility that it could lose those plastic strips we know and hate. A Liquidmetal body is once again a possibility too, as Apple has extended its exclusivity deal with the maker.

On the other hand we’re also hearing rumours the iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 might feature the lightweight and strong Series 7000 aluminium alloy it uses on theApple Watch Sport.

A recent bend test video shows an alleged zinc-infused and anodization coated iPhone 6S shell to be almost 2.7 times as before. You may be safe to stick the new iPhone in your back pocket again.

A set of schematics have also emerged which again claim that the iPhone 6S is set to be 0.2mm thicker than the iPhone 6, but will otherwise look pretty much the same as last year’s handset.

The extra depth could be due to Apple including Force Touch technology behind the screen. Plus there’s even more evidence it’s going to be a bit thicker than the iPhone 6. Leaked schematics of the iPhone 6S placeholder show it’ll now be 7.1mm and were spotted to be on the Apple Store.

It could be getting a new colour scheme as well, as the gold version will apparently be more yellow than it is on the iPhone 6, the space grey version may be getting darker and a rose gold version is said to be on the cards, as well as apink model.

However new rumours suggest that the touted pink and rose gold models will be one and the same, with the confusion arising from how similar the colours are. Either way, it looks like new iPhone colors are on the way.

A new image has also made its way onto the internet that claim to shows promotional material showing off an iPhone 6S with a distinctly Apple Watch-esque Rose Gold colour.

iPhone 6S

But enough about what the iPhone 6S will look like on the outside, what about the inside? If you’re keen to take a peek under the bonnet of the upcoming iPhone, MacRumours has released a video claiming to show an opened iPhone 6S and its exposed hardware.

Force Touch

The biggest change to the new iPhone 6S will be the screen – the same Force Touch technology that sits inside the Apple Watch and the new Macbook will very likely be used in the latest version of Apple’s handset.

How will it work? Think how a longpress works now, and you’ll get some idea. One of the big ideas being touted around (originating from Marc Gurman of 9to5Mac) is that for Apple Maps: press lightly to highlight a place, then press harder to start directions there.

Extend that out and you’ll see how this could be used throughout the phone: press the screen to scroll through video, press harder to skip through faster (rather than lifting your finger uncomfortably up the screen).

Other suggestions include ‘hard’ pressing a track to offer options to add it to a playlist, or doing the same on a link in Safari to see a web page preview.

The ‘exciting’ thing about this new addition is that the Force Touch used on the new iPhone (which might not even be called Force Touch, but a new moniker for the tech) will have more levels of pressure – three, rather than two.

It could even have more, depending on the level of sensitivity Apple can grant the iPhone 6S’ screen – but the ways its used are going to be more interesting.

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