After a year of rumours, speculation and ever-mounting evidence, Apple has finally released the iPhone 6s and its bigger sibling, the iPhone 6s Plus. As expected, the new iPhones come in a new Rose Gold colour and also offer 3D Touch, but there are lots of other new features, too. Read on to find out more about the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, including the iPhone 6s release date, UK price, all of the new features, how to buy the iPhone 6s & 6s Plus in the UK and get the best iPhone 6s deals.
You'll find a full recap of the event here. You can also read our hands-on review of the iPhone 6s from after the event. And if you're thinking about buying a new iPhone, see how the new ones compare with the old ones: iPhone buying guide. And if you want to know what's happening next year, take a look at our iPhone 7 release date rumours roundup.
Updated with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus bugs including problems with the Touch ID sensor, zoomed in apps, and unresponsive screen, PLUS: News that there are two different A9 chips being used - one by Samsung and one by TSMC, with the TSMC chip offering better battery life.
If you've got a new iPhone 6s you might like to take a look at our unboxing and setup video below:
iPhone 6s release date UK: When is the new iPhone coming out?
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now available to buy from Apple, following their 9 September launch, subsequent 12 September pre-order kick off day and 25 September release day. The new phones became available to buy in stores from 25 September in 12 countries including the UK. They'll be in 130 countries by the end of the year.
iPhone 6s chipgate: Apple using two different manufacturers for A9 chip
There are two types of A9 chips being used in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Chipworks has discovered. Apparently Apple is utilizing chips from Samsung and TSMC for the new devices.
The Samsung chips are smaller than the TSMC chips, which might sound like a benefit, but apparently the TSMC chips are more energy efficient and users are experiencing more battery life.
Chipworks discovered the two different A9 chips when they a number of new iPhones. AnandTech writes that the reason why the chipsets are different sizes is likely due to the different manufacturing processes being used, with Samsung using a 14nm technology and TSMC using 16nm technology. The difference in size is a few millimeters: the Samsung chip is 96mm2 while the TSMC chip is 104.5mm2.
The big issue with this revelation appears to be that some users are finding that they get more battery life from a phone using the TSMC chip. According to Mac Rumours forum users, and some Reddit users, users of the new phones are finding that the iPhones using the TSMC chip manage two more hours of battery life than iPhones using the Samsung chip.
How can I find out which A9 chip is in my iPhone?
A developer has released an app – beware it is not approved by Apple so installing it may be risky – that may let you identify which chip is in your device. The app developer Hiraku Jira claims that of the iPhone users who have run his program so far, the TSMC chip is in 70% of iPhone 6s and 40% of iPhone 6s Plus models. The app is available here, install at your own risk!
iPhone 6s chipgate: Why you don't need to worry
When chipgate hit the headlines and was declared a controversy, Apple decided to offer a rare comment to reassure iPhone 6s owners.
"With the Apple-designed A9 chip in your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you are getting the most advanced smartphone chip in the world. Every chip we ship meets Apple's highest standards for providing incredible performance and deliver great battery life, regardless of iPhone 6s capacity, colour or model."
"Certain manufactured lab tests which run the processors with a continuous heavy workload until the battery depletes are not representative of real-world usage, since they spend an unrealistic amount of time at the highest CPU performance state. It's a misleading way to measure real-world battery life. Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, even taking into account variable component differences, vary within just 2-3% of each other."
In other words, if you're concerned about the chip in your iPhone 6s, don't be. As pointed out by Ars Technica's battery life tests, which found that the only significant difference in battery life was during the Geekbench 3 test, which puts a huge strain on the processor that you'd be unlikely to replicate in day-to-day use.
We're not suggesting that the variation is entirely acceptable - ideally all of Apple's chips should perform almost identically - but there's no doubt that the original reports were overblown and shouldn't concern the vast majority of iPhone 6s users.
Find out more about boosting iPhone battery life here.
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus bugs: Problems with Touch ID sensor in iPhone 6s
Some iPhone 6s users are reporting problems with the Touch ID sensor overheating.
A report in the Daily Mail suggests that the Touch ID sensor is getting too hot and therefore and not working in some models. It’s suggested that users hard reset their iPhone by pressing the on-off switch and holding the Touch ID button until the phone shuts down (assuming the Touch ID button doesn’t burn your finger) in order to solve the problem. (In other words, turn it off and turn it back on again...).
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus bugs: unresponsive iPhone screen
Some users are complaining that the iPhone 6s screen becomes unresponsive. It appears that the screen is only unresponsive for about 10 seconds.
The best way to fix this appears to be to do a hard reset by pressing the on-off switch and holding the Touch ID button until the phone shuts down.
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus bugs: Zoomed display bug
The release of the iPhone 6s on 25 September prompted a large number of people to upgrade from their old iPhone, especially those running older devices. However, those restoring from an iPhone 5/5s/5c backup via iCloud may have a bit of a shock, as some users are reporting a display bug that causes certain apps to zoom into apps on the iPhone 6s. Users on Apple’s Support forums note that the bug seems to affect Wallet, Weather, Watch, Calculator and Health, which is causing data to be cut off at the edges of the screen, as if zoomed in.
The issue is most prevalent in the Wallet app, as the cropped display means that users are unable to delete cards from the app. Apparently, turning on the Display Zoom feature from within the Display & Brightness menu of the Settings app will fix the issue in Wallet, but will leave the rest of the iPhone zoomed in. It’s not a suitable permanent fix, but until Apple releases an update to correct the error, it at least gives affected users a way to manage their cards in the Wallet app. It’s said that Apple is working on the error, and users running iOS 9.1 beta 3 say the problem has been fixed, so it looks like we haven’t got long to wait!
Mac Rumours forum users are suggesting that the issue can be fixed if users switch their iPhone to zoomed display in Settings > Display & Brightness > View.
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus bugs: Phones randomly turning off
There are a small number of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users reporting that their devices are turning off at random, even if the devices in question have a completely full battery. Users then report that their devices would become completely unresponsive, with holding the power button having no effect on its’ state. Some of the affected users have also complained that their home buttons would also be unusually hot once their device had eventually turned back on. The issue has been raised in Apple’s online forums, as well as on Reddit, which has seen scores of users complaining about the bug.
It’s thought that the bug mainly affects devices running iOS 9.0.1, released shortly after the launch of iOS 9 to combat earlier bug fixes, such as getting stuck at the ‘Slide to Upgrade’ section of the iPhone software update. Apple has since released iOS 9.0.2, which brings with it a handful of bug fixes including one that allowed anyone to bypass the lock screen to access photos and contacts using Siri. However, the fix for the above issue isn’t included in the change log for iOS 9.0.2, so we can only assume this is an ongoing issue.
Although there is no official word from Apple about the bug, and whether it’s a software or hardware issue, there is a workaround available. According to Reddit users, performing a ‘hard reset’ usually works, and is performed by holding both the home and lock/power buttons for around 10 seconds. Be careful not to let go of the power button and continue holding the home button, as this will put the iPhone into DFU mode and will have to be restored using iTunes.
As well as this, we at Macworld UK have personally experienced a slightly different bug on our iPhone 6s running iOS 9.0.2. We were using our iPhone 6s when the screen displayed a vibrant green colour – however this green wasn’t consistent across the display, and looked a bit like a Gameboy display would as it runs out of battery; it was blotchy, and faded away. After this, our iPhone display turned off and after a few seconds, our iPhone 6s restarted with no further issues. We’ve only experienced this bug once, and we’ll be monitoring our iPhone over the coming days to see if it happens again.
How to buy an iPhone 6s from the Apple Store: Has the iPhone 6s sold out?
If you want to head into an Apple Store to buy your iPhone 6s, you can certainly expect to see queues and it's possible that the particular model you're after will be sold out, especially if you're visiting one of Apple's more popular stores.
If you want to buy your iPhone 6s on contract rather than from Apple directly, you an expect to find them in retail branches of EE, O2, Three, Virgin and Vodafone.
From Saturday 26 September, you'll be able to reserve your iPhone to pick up in store, and Apple says that most stores will have the iPhone available for walk-in customers every day, so we expect regular deliveries are planned.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus price UK: How much do the new iPhones cost?
The iPhone 6s starts at £539, while the iPhone 6s Plus starts at £619. Breaking that down further:
iPhone 6s 16GB: £539
iPhone 6s 64GB: £619
iPhone 6s 128GB: £699
iPhone 6s Plus 16GB: £619
iPhone 6s Plus 64GB: £699
iPhone 6s Plus 128GB: £789
Where to buy the iPhone 6s in the UK
As mentioned above, Apple began pre-orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus on Saturday 12 September at 8.01am, and then became available to buy on 25 September from 8am.
On Apple's Online Store, you'll be able to order the new iPhone unsubsidised for the prices listed above, but most models now have a 1-2 week dispatch estimate so you might want to try reserving a model to buy in store (which you can do by pressing the button below 'Add to Bag' at checkout on the Apple Store) or buying the phone from a carrier or third-party seller.
Where buy the iPhone 6s UK: Best iPhone 6s deals and contracts
If you're looking to get your iPhone 6s on contract, you'll want to turn to a carrier.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Carphone Warehouse
You can order the iPhone 6s from Carphone Warehouse by clicking here. Prices are available with no upfront cost starting at £44 per month.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: EE
The EE contract that the carrier recommends for the iPhone 6s is £49.99 per month with a £49.99 upfront cost, and for that you'll get 4GB of data with unlimited texts and calls. You can order from EE here.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Mobile.co.uk
Mobiles.co.uk has also opened orders for the iPhone 6s. You can order from Mobiles.co.uk by clicking here.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Mobile Phones Direct
You can get the iPhone 6s from £35 per month with a £49.99 upfront cost from Mobile Phones Direct. If you want to pay nothing upfront, it's also available for £44 per month with unlimited texts, minutes and data on a Vodafone contract via Mobile Phones Direct. You can find the deal by clicking here.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: O2
O2 is also offering the iPhone 6s on order. You can order all models of the iPhone 6s on O2 here. Prices start at £47.50 per month with £9.99 upfront.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Tesco Mobile
Tesco Mobile's tarrifs start at £42 per month with no up-front cost (and that's for an impressive 5,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and 3GB of data). See the Tesco Mobile iPhone 6s deals here.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Three
The iPhone 6s is available on Three, too. Prices there start at £38 per month, but that's with a £99 upfront charge. Click here to go to Three's iPhone 6s page.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile has made the iPhone 6s available to order here, with some pretty cheap contracts (although you won't get much in the way of data or minutes) starting at £34 with no up-front cost.
How to buy iPhone 6s UK: Vodfafone
Vodafone also has an order system for the iPhone 6s here. The recommended bundle is £49 per month with a £19 upfront charge, and that gets you unlimited minutes and texts with 6GB of data.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus: Is the iPhone 6s waterproof?
Reports are suggesting the new iPhone 6s is waterproof. This is based on iFixit’s tear down of the new iPhone. iFixIt claims that it found an adhesive running around the edge of the iPhone along with silicon seals on the connectors inside the iPhone. This could serve to protect the iPhone from water damage. However, Apple is not claiming that the iPhone is waterproof, so we don’t suggest that you take any risks. The company famously has a water indicator inside the iPhone that show if the iPhone has had water damage when you take it in for repair.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus: Design and build
As suspected, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have the same screen sizes as their predecessors, with the 6s offering a 4.7in Retina display and the iPhone 6S Plus offering 5.5in.
New to this new generation of iPhone, though, is the Rose Gold model, which adds to the Gold, Silver and Space Grey already available. The new Rose Gold matches the new aluminium Rose Gold Apple Watch, too.
Each model is made with the same aluminium as the Apple Watch, called Series 7000 Aluminium, which is designed to be more durable (and hopefully prevent a repeat of Bendgate!)
iPhone 6S new features: 3D Touch
Apple has introduced a brand-new screen technology called 3D Touch, which lets you 'Peek' by pressing lightly, or 'Pop' by pressing harder.
For example, if you're browsing through your emails and see one you think might be interesting, you can 'Peek' to see what it says and if you don't fancy responding right now you can let go to go right back to your emails without pressing back. But if you do want to reply, you can click harder to 'Pop' to the email, as shown above.
Another example given by Apple is links. If someone sends you a link via iMessage or any other application, you can Peek at it by pressing lightly to see what's on that web page. Let go and you'll be right back in the app the link was sent to you in. And if you want to fully open the page in Safari, you can press harder to Pop into it.
Other uses include viewing photos you've just taken within the Camera app, taking a Peek at locations within the Maps app by lightly pressing on an address and more.
App icons now become shortcuts that let you choose exactly where in that app you want to go, a new feature tha Apple calls Quick Actions. You can press on the Camera icon to take a selfie. And you can press on the Facebook icon to quickly update your status or check-in without opening the app.
If you want to call one of your favourite contacts you can press the Phone button (rather than tap it), or press the Maps button to get directions home, mark your location, send your location or search nearby.
Multitasking is easier than ever with 3D Touch, too. You can press on the screen and swipe to scroll through the apps you've got open, rather than double clicking the Home button.
3D Touch works with a taptic engine for haptic feedback you can feel, just like the Apple Watch and the trackpad on the new MacBooks.
That's only the tip of the 3D Touch iceberg, particularly as third-party developers begin introducing the technology into their apps, too.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus specs and hardware
Inside the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is the new 64-bit A9 chip, as predicted. That chip is 70% faster than the A8, and 90% faster when it comes to graphics performance. We're looking forward to running our benchmark tests on the new iPhone to find out how it compares with rivals.
That A9 chip is paired with an M9 motion co-processor that collects health and fitness data to help the A9 run more efficiently and concentrate on other tasks.
There's also a second-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor that's up to two times faster.
Just like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the new models are available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB configurations.
Connectivity has been improved too. There's now LTE Advanced and faster WiFi.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus camera
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feature a 12Mp iSight rear-facing camera rather than the 8Mp cameras of their predecessors. Indeed, Apple has refused to add more pixels to the camera for years, claiming that more megapixels doesn’t mean better quality shots, which is true: more megapixels really just means the shot will take more MB of storage up. However, now Apple is happy to add more megapixels because they have also added more focus pixels for more better auto focus and added a new tech called deep trench isolation for accurate colour.
The iPhone 6S Plus's camera is capable of capturing 4K video, as is the camera in the 6S. (One difference between the two devices' video-capture capabilities, however, is the fact that the 6s Plus offers optical image stabilisation.)
There's also a 5Mp front-facing camera for selfies and FaceTime, and the entire display can be used as a front-facing flash.
In terms of camera software, Apple is introducing Live Photos. You can capture a photo that has an extended moment before and after you pressed the shutter button, capturing a few seconds of motion and audio for a photo that can come to life a little like something out of Harry Potter! We're slightly concerned about how much space that'll take up, though.
iPhone 6s software
The iPhone 6s will run iOS 9, which we've already spent lots of time with after it was unveiled at WWDC 2015 earlier this year.
Additionally, a new software feature is the ability to activate Siri by saying "Hey Siri" at any time, not just when the device is plugged in.
More to follow.
On page two is all of the speculation from before Apple's special event today. Find out how many of the rumours were true.