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.
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.
The content below was all written prior to Apple's 9 September event. Find out what we got right (quite a lot!) and what we got wrong.
The 9 September 2015 has finally arrived, and that means that new iPhones are a matter of hours away. Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now a year old, so Apple watchers are getting excited about what's next for Apple's smartphone. Here, we round up all of the rumours about the iPhone 6's new successor, widely known as the iPhone 6s, including release date rumours, specs and new features.
In this article we're focusing on one specific next-generation iPhone: the follow-up to the 4.7in iPhone 6 that launched in September 2014. If you're looking for rumours about the next generation of Apple's 5.5in iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus, see our iPhone 7 rumour round-up. (It might yet be called iPhone 6s Plus, but we think that's a bit of a mouthfull!) We've also got information about the rumoured iPhone 6c, which would take the place of the iPhone 5s as Apple's newest 4in iPhone.
Also, find out what's in store for the rest of the year: Apple predictions 2015. Finally, take a look at Apple patents and the clues they offer about the future of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch & Mac.
Apple iPhone 6s event live blog
Here's where you can follow all the developments from this evenings event, along with the opinions of the Macworld UK team:
iPhone 6S release date rumours: When is the iPhone 6S coming out in the UK?
It's official: Invites have been sent out to an Apple press event on 9 September (click here to find out how to watch it live), which we're fairly happy to guarantee will be the announcement of a new iPhone - with the possibility of some other bonus unveilings.
Intriguingly, the invitation offers a suggestion: to ask Siri for a hint about the upcoming event. And if you read the phrase on the invitation into Siri's waiting ear, you get various (sometimes quite funny) hints and clues. Such as:
- "I can neither confirm nor deny that I am not authorised either to confirm or deny that I cannot disclose anything that you would then have to confirm. In any case, I would deny it. Got it?"
- "The only hint I can give you right now is a hint of lime. And that there's a big announcement on 9 September."
- "You'll have to wait until 9 September. I bet you were one of those kids who snuck downstairs to open presents early, weren't you?"
Even more hints emerged on 7 September, including:
- "Don't tell anyone I told you, but I have it on good authority that... oops, Tim just gave me a look."
- "Sorry. I missed the super secret keynote meeting because I was busy reminding 3 million people to call their mum."
Buzzfeed, which correctly predicted the 9 September iPhone event, claims that the iPhone 6S will go on sale on 25 September like the one spotted in an internal Vodafone email. ITHome has suggested that pre-orders for the smartphone will begin on Friday 11 September, while the iPhones will be available to buy from 18 September from retail stores.
In addition to giving us our first look at the new iPhones, the 9 September event may also give Apple the opportunity to show off a new generation of its Apple TV. You can find out more about what to expect from the event here. Read also: Apple Home Kit release date.
According to the rumour there will be a first release in top-selling countries such as the US, the UK and Germany. A second launch to less lucrative markets will follow on 26 September, it is believed.
According to Economic Daily News, supply chain sources claimed that the iPhone 6s was already being produced and component yields were on track for a launch in August.
iPhone 6S rumours: Is Apple skipping iPhone 6S & going straight to iPhone 7?
Reports that hit the web earlier this year claim that the iPhone 6S may never launch. Truested KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the iPhone that launches this September might have such significant new features that Apple skips the iPhone 6S and goes straight for the iPhone 7, and his reports seem to confirm that the new features are indeed significant.
In May, Kuo revealed several key features that he has reason to believe will be present in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus when they launch next month
According to Kuo, who made these claims during a talk with investors, the iPhone 6S will boast the following (click the links to skip straight ahead to more detail about each rumoured feature or read on for the full story):
Force Touch display: This will be the standout feature of the new iPhone according to Kuo. However, it could mean that demand significantly outweighs supply so expect the iPhone 6S to sell out even faster than usual.
The screen sizes are set to remain the same: 4.7in and 5.5in. There won't be a new iPhone 6C with 4in display this year.
A rose gold iPhone 6S is indeed coming, in addition to the already available gold, silver and space grey.
The iPhone 6S will have a 12Mp camera on the rear and a microphone on the rear for better audio quality in videos.
A new casing material and internal mechanical design should prevent a repeat of #bendgate.
Touch ID is expected to be significantly improved as Apple Pay becomes more prominent.
Mass production was expected to begin in August, and Kuo expects total shipments to reach 90 million in 2015, with the 4.7in iPhone outselling the 5.5in iPhone 2 to 1.
On 4 September, marketing company 6S Marketing parked a van outside the Apple Store in New York begging Apple to call the next iPhone the iPhone 7 to avoid confusion with their own name.
iPhone 6S leaked photos
At the end of June, photos that appear to show the iPhone 6S emerged online, representing what could be our first look at the next iPhone. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the iPhone 6S is going to have some of the features we'd been hoping for, including a new dual-lens camera and a tweaked design that removes those annoying antenna lines.
The images, which come from a 9to5Mac source that is apparently familiar with Apple's supply chain, show a design that looks identical to the iPhone 6, aside from some internal changes that hint at new components.
The photos also show a new Qualcomm chip that is believed to be capable of providing LTE download speeds of up to two times faster.
Following the leaked images shown above, further images from Engadget emerged, showing what appears to be a schematic diagram for the iPhone 6S. The images allegedly came from a source from a Chinese supply chain, and appear to reveal that the new smartphone will be 0.2mm thicker. That lines up with several other rumours about the introduction of a Force Touch display, as detailed below.
Then, at the end of July, an image of what is claimed to be a front panel destined for the iPhone 6S emerged on the web, showing essentially the same design. However, some reports have claimed that the iPhone 6S will have stronger aluminium to prevent a repeat of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus bendgate.
Even more leaked images arrived with August, this time in the form of CAD images that come from @OnLeaks via uSwitch. They depict an iPhone 6S that's slightly thicker than the iPhone 6, as predicted. The thicker design makes room for the Force Touch technology and gets rid of that annoying protruding camera.
Also new to hit the web is a series of photographs that appear to show a fully assembled iPhone 6S display that provides further evidence to support the theory that Force Touch is coming to the new smartphone. 9To5Mac suggests that the rectangular hole spotted in the sheilding that separates the screen from the internal components of the smartphone could be to make room for a Taptic Engine.
iPhone 6S rumours: Apple places biggest iPhone order ever
In mid July, reports from The Wall Street Journal said that Apple has ordered between 85 million and 90 million units of the iPhone 6S as it prepares for its launch. Last year, Apple is believed to have ordered 70 to 80 million units, but they quickly sold out, so it's clear that Apple is expecting huge demand again this year.
However, according to reports from Taiwan at the beginning of August, suppliers have begun speeding up production of Force Touch components coming to the iPhone 6S now that there is just one month to go until the expected iPhone 6S launch event. Shipments of the iPhone 6S are expected to reach up to 40 million in the third quarter and 50 million in the fourth, says Digitimes, which is lower than the reports mentioned above so it's difficult to know which is accurate, if any!
iPhone 6S rumours: What new features will the iPhone 6S have?
Rumours about the next generation of iPhones have started to pick up pace now that we've reached April, but we can expect to see them tumbling in daily as 2015 continues. We've collected all of the speculation we've seen so far about the iPhone 6S's specs, features and design below.
iPhone 6S rumours: Design, rose-gold finish
We're expecting Apple to stick with the 4.7in display for the iPhone 6's successor, as it's a display size that seems to have gone down well with fans so far.
We also don't think that the overall design of the iPhone 6S will be much different to the iPhone 6. Apple tends to keep the same external design for its iPhones for two generations, so expect the same slim, light and rounded design that's sported by the iPhone 6 to be present when the iPhone 6S arrives.
Persistant rumours that originated from The Wall Street Journal about the design of the iPhone 6S suggest that, in addition to Silver, Gold and Space Grey, you'll also be able to buy a new Pink model. It's not going to be bright pink like the iPhone 5C, but rather a rose gold colour like the colour of one of the Apple Watch Editions. We can imagine the new colour being rather popular.
Martin Hajek has come up with several realistic concept images of what the rose gold iPhone 6S might look look like, as shown below. See more over on his website.
Dutch site Techtastic claims to have come across iPhone 6S packaging that shows a rose gold model with new Motion backgrounds like those on the Apple Watch. The backgrounds depict gorgeous fish that could almost be mistaken as flowers.
Further images that have appeared on Weibo showing what appears to be a rose gold iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on Apple's website, but we're not sure how genuine these are as they're particularly low-quality.
A new patent application published on 18 June has revealed that Apple may have figured out how to finally get rid of the (arguably) ugly antenna lines that run across the top and bottom of the back of the iPhone. Apple has detailed a way to use a new composite metal material that is thin enough for radio frequencies to pass through (which is what those lines do now) but is disguised as the anodised metal that the rest of your iPhone is made of.
Another design-related rumour that emerged mid-June suggest that the iPhone 6S might be slightly thicker than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to make room for the new Force Touch technology rumoured to be coming to the smartphone's display. It's not much of a difference – apparently the next iPhone will be 0.15mm longer and 0.2mm thicker.
There's also some speculation to suggest that the thicker iPhone might make way for a better battery that uses the developments deployed in the 12in MacBook to squeeze more power into the smartphone. The battery would be contoured and layered to make the most of the space available and provide more of that much-needed power.
One rumour suggests the iPhone 6S's display could wrap around the edges of the smartphone in a similar way to the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and now its Galaxy S6 Edge.
This rumour was inspired by an official Apple patent, which describes "sidewall displays" that extend onto the sides of the iPhone, providing interactive or touch-sensitive portions that provide access to the slide-to-unlock feature, music player controls, messaging readout, caller ID, system controls and more.
iPhone 6s durability: Gorilla Glass, Sapphire Glass and Liquidmetal
There's some debate about whether the iPhone 6S will be more durable through the use of new materials including sapphire glass and Liquidmetal, but the bankruptcy of Apple's sapphire partner has put a spanner in the works there, to say the least.
GT Advanced Technologies partnered with Apple to produce sapphire glass at an Apple-owned factory in Arizona that could have been used to manufacture 200 million 5in iPhone displays per year, so without that partnership, the likelihood of sapphire glass being used in an iPhone any time soon is significantly damaged.
Corning, the company behind the durable Gorilla Glass that's used in Apple's current iPhones, has revealed a new type of glass, codenamed "Project Phire," that could be used instead of Sapphire, because it's apparently just as durable.
"We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn't fare well when drop," said Corning Glass president James Clappin. "So we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire."
Liquidmetal is still on the cards, though. Apple has an exclusive license to the material, but currently only uses it for the SIM-removal tool, despite its desirable qualities such as durability.
Phone 6S rumours: iPhone 6S to be made with Apple Watch aluminium?
It's designed to be durable and resistant to scratches but also light, at one-third of the density of steel.
This rumour was reiterated in August by YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger, who is the person who originally brought the Bendgate issue to light last year. He claims to have the iPhone 6S's aluminium casing, and says it's made with the 7000 series aluminium found on the Apple Watch and should therefore be less bendable.
iPhone 6S rumours: Force Touch display
As we approach the iPhone 6S's unveiling at last, it seems almost certain that the new smartphone is going to get the Force Touch technology we've seen in the Apple Watch and then the new MacBook trackpads. There have been rumours about it for a long time now, but with just days to go the newest rumours say that it'll instead be called 3D Touch and will have three levels of pressure sensitivity, an improvement over the two levels in the current Force Touch tech.
The three levels will be a standard tap, a press and a strong press, which could open up even more new ways to interact with the phone.
However, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that could make the new iPhone slightly thicker than it is now. But it would be worth it.
On 9 March during its Spring Forward event, Apple unveiled a new MacBook, and with it comes the brand-new Force Trackpad, which uses the same Force Touch technology as the Apple Watch, and rumour has it that technology might come to the iPhone 6S's touchscreen.
That would mean new gestures, and that's actually more exciting than it sounds. The Force Touch screen on the iPhone 6S would mean that the smartphone could differentiate between taps and presses, and would enable a whole new level of interaction.
Kuo expects that it'll be different to the technology used in the Apple Watch and new MacBook. Instead of actually detecting how much pressure you apply with your fingers, the iPhone's Force Touch display will determine how much pressure you're applying by measuring the contact area of your finger.
The Force Touch technology could be exclusive to Apple's larger iPhone, though. According to Economic Daily News, Taiwanese manufacturer TPK will be the supplier of the Force Touch sensors for the iPhone 6S Plus, but the iPhone 6S won't sport the technology. The iPhone 6 already lacks the optical image stabilisation found in the iPhone 6 Plus, so it's certainly possible that the newer model will have more advanced features than the 4.7in iPhone, too.
However, the same source seems to have changed its mind about the 5.5in iPhone Force Touch exclusivity, recently claiming that both sizes will have the technology after all.
Cantor Fitzgerald's Brian White told Business Insider: "There's going to be a lot of different features in how you interact with Force Touch and what it does that maybe we're not thinking about yet."
When talking about Force Touch, Timothy Arcuri from Cowen and Company said: "It takes a two-dimensional screen and basically makes it three-dimensional."
An analyst who spoke with Business Insider, Tavis McCourt from Raymond James & Associates, says: "I think the iPhone 6S will have more hardware improvements than any other S version that I can remember. I think it will have significantly better use experience." That better user experience will come from the extra RAM, he says.
Below is a concept video that attempts to show what it might be like to use Force Touch on an iPhone.
The latest report, this time from 9To5Mac, expects Apple to call Force Touch something different for the iPhone, but there's no word yet to reveal what it'll actually be called yet.
iPhone 6S rumours: Touch ID improvements
The Touch ID fingerprint sensor currently resides beneath the Home button, but a patent filed by Apple and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in February 2015 hints that the company is interested in making a Touch ID sensor that's built-in to the display.
That sensor could detect the user's fingerprint anywhere on the display, or even identify multiple fingers at once or even the whole palm to further enhance security.
This isn't the first time a patent detailing such technology has emerged. Find out more in our complete guide to Apple's patent portfolio.
Failing that (it could be a bit of a big jump for the next generation of iPhone, particularly if Apple wants to bring Force Touch to the display too) the Touch ID fingerprint sensor itself could be improved in the next iPhone. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, says he expects the Touch ID module to be upgraded, with reduced reading errors for more reliable Apple Pay.
iPhone 6S rumours: Waterproofing
We're sure that Apple has thought about making the iPhone waterproof to improve durability, but right now it would likely mean sacrificing the premium design it's famous for. However, a patent spotted in early March 2015 shows that Apple is working on a "method for shielding electronic components from moisture," which could help protect future iPhones from the inside.
Rather than making the iPhone's chassis waterproof to prevent water from getting in, the patent describes a method that instead applies a waterproof coating to each of the vulnerable parts inside the iPhone, leaving the gorgeous design intact.
We hope that Apple will utilise this technology at some point in the near future, ideally with the iPhone 6S. It would be a big selling point, particularly now that Samsung's latest flagship smartphone is not waterproof.
iPhone 6S rumours: Five-element camera lenses
Update, 25 August 2015: A new rumour has recently been spread by Business Insider UK. The British website quoted an anonymous source working in Apple's supply chain, who claimed that the Cupertino-based company has just ordered five-element lenses that will match with the 12Mp camera sensor of the upcoming iPhone 6S.
Although the current iPhone 6's cameras already have five-element lenses, they boast 8Mp camera sensors; this means that the next-generation iPhones will have to include more sophisticated five-element lenses in order to fit the expected 12Mp spec (see below).
The order is said to be huge, but we are not sure about the reliability of the source; according to the blog Theapplepips, Business Insider "doesn't have a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple unreleased components and parts".
We reckon that Apple will consider including more elements in its lenses to improve the picture quality of its next-generation iPhone; after all, many other handsets, such as the OnePlus 2, already boast six-element cameras.
iPhone 6s rumours: 12Mp camera
The iPhone currently has had an 8MP camera - the number of megapixels has remained unchanged since the iPhone 4s was released back in 2011. Over the years Apple has made changes to the mechanics of the camera rather than an increase in megapixels. With the launch of the iPhone 5s, for example, Apple made each of those pixels larger, to enable to phone to take better images. Read about the megapixel myth and why it's a smartphone con here.
IHS China analyst Kevin Wong shared this view on Chinese social network Sina Weibo that the new iPhone will offer a 12MP camera.
Rumours that emerged in November 2014 suggested that we should expect great things from the camera in the next generation of iPhone. In fact, the claim is that the iPhone 6S's camera will represent the biggest camera jump in the history of the iPhone.
The rumour comes from reliable blogger John Gruber of Daring Fireball, who said on a podcast that his source claims that the iPhone 6S's camera will have a two-lens system that could help allow users to capture "DSLR-quality imagery."
A separate rumour that hit the web in mid-January also suggests big improvements are coming to the camera in the iPhone 6S. Chinese website United Daily News says that Apple's iPhone 6S will have a dual-lens camera that offers optical zoom capabilities. The aperture is likely to improve, too.
Then, in February 2015, a new rumour from Taipei Times suggested that the iPhone 6S will keep the 8Mp camera, but we're choosing not to believe this one!
Other camera rumours that emerged following the discovery of a new Apple patent in March suggest that the company may use a new light-splitting, three-sensor camera system, which would improve the quality of both photos and videos on future iPhones.
First spotted by Apple Insider, the patent describes a system that uses mirrors and lenses to split light and direct it to three separate sensors, allowing the use of more pixels and therefore improving the quality of the images significantly.
Similar technology is already found in some professional cameras some made by Canon, Philips and Panasonic.
Apple has recently acquired LinX Imaging, a company that makes miniature multi-aperture cameras that are super high-quality.
It sounds like these cameras could be the perfect candidate for the next iPhone. Firstly, they're half the height of standard mobile cameras, which could solve the issue of the protruding lens on the rear of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Secondly, they're designed to be capable of capturing SLR quality images, which is a rumour we've already been hearing about Apple's next iPhone.
The cameras can also be used to create 3D images, so a dual-lens camera might be in store.
iPhone 6S rumours: Specs
New reports that flooded the web on 17 August claim to reveal the specs of the iPhone 6S. The specs were spotted by Dutch blog TechTastic, which spotted a GeekBench benchmark result for an iPhone with the marker iPhone8,2, which is currently unreleased. That benchmark test seems to reveal that the new iPhone will have a 1.5GHz tri-core A9 processor and 2GB RAM.
The performance of the iPhone 6S with those internal components should match or beat that of the iPad Air 2, which boasts a tri-core A8X processor.
iPhone 6S rumours: Processor
It's highly likely that the iPhone 6S's processor will be named the A9 processor, following on from the already powerful, 64-bit A8 processor. It'll be joined by the M9 co-processor, which handles efficiency by taking all of the jobs carried out by the sensors away from the main processor.
That A9 processor could be super-fast, according to a new report published in August that claims the performance of the iPhone 6S will be "to kill for." That's a bit extreme in our opinion, but it'll certainly be impressive if analyst Srini Sundararajan's predictions are correct. It'll apparently be 20% more powerful than the A8, but also more power-efficient and significantly smaller.
The A9 is rumoured to be being manufactured by Samsung, which was apparently in talks with Apple about becoming the sole manufacturer of its chips, a role it once had before the responsibility was handed over to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
Those talks have apparently resulted in a deal that means Samsung will instead supply around 75% of chips for the iPhone 6S, according to South Korean Newspaper Maeil Business. The A9 chip is believed to be being manufactured at Apple's Austin factory, so the processor could be a 'Made in America' component, according to the Korean Electronic Times.
Reports have claimed that Apple will finally ditch the 16GB model of the iPhone, instead offering 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options.
iPhone 6S rumours: RAM
TechNews believes that the iPhone 6S will have 2GB or RAM rather than 1GB found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which could indicate that iOS 9 will have better multitasking features that would be possible thanks to the extra memory.
Back in early March Apple Insider reported that person familiar with Apple's future product plans would offer 2GB RAM.
We've been speculating that this would be the case in several previous versions of Apple's iPhone, though, so we can't help but think that it might just be wishful thinking.
This time, the rumour comes from a source who spoke with Apple Insider, who is apparently familiar with Apple's product plans and provided reliable information in the past.
The good news is that ARM holdings, the company behind the technology that goes into Apple's processors, has said that its next generation Cortex-A72 processors will have a 3.5x performance boost but be significantly more efficient.
IHS Technology’s China director Kevin King claims, according to reports, that his sources indicate that the new iPhone 6s will feature 2GB RAM. However, since reports appeared making this claim the source linked to appears to have disappeared.
iPhone 6S rumours: 'Seven-day' battery life
According to a Telegraph rumour in late August, Intelligent Energy, a UK-based company, has come up with a hydrogen-powered battery that fits in iPhone 6 cases.
The British company has already produced hydrogen-powered chargers for smartphones, but this time it has (apparently) devised such a small fuel cell that it would fit within an iPhone. The cell would combine oxygen and hydrogen together to produce electricity; the resulting energy would be so powerful that it could make the iPhone's battery life last for up to seven days without charging.
However, if the claimed cells were integrated into the next-generation iPhones, this would have specific repercussions.
Design-wise, the new iPhone would need to incorporate outlets on its back to let steam out. The reaction between oxygen and hydrogen would produce water vapour, which would damage the device if not released. And in terms of charging, you wouldn't be able to plug your phone into a standard wall socket - you would need specific, dedicated sockets.
According to the Mirror, Intelligent Energy is collaborating with Apple to integrate the technology in the next iPhones.
Reportedly, the new iPhone would have both a lithium-ion and hydrogen-powered batteries "to give people a path they are comfortable with".
However, we doubt the technology will appear in the upcoming iPhone 6S; this because Intelligent Energy merely claimed that it was able to develop a fuel cell that fits in the current iPhone 6 chassis, but it made no reference to any Apple collaboration.
It might be that Intelligent Energy is merely trying to advertise its product. It's possible that the tech company and Apple will reach an agreement, but we are unlikely to see the hydrogen-powered technology in iPhones coming up in the next few years. As the Intelligent Energy's corporate financial chief put it: "Our view is that this is a couple of years out, but really it's about how quickly our partner wants to press the button and get on with it."
Plus, in September, a new report emerged that suggested that the iPhone 6S could actually have a weaker battery than the iPhone 6. Chinese site CNBeta has shared apparently leaked battery specs for the iPhone 6S and 6S plus, but they seem to reveal that the capacity of the battery has been reduced by 5 to 6 per cent in each model.
According to the report, the iPhone 6S will have a 1715mAh battery compared with the 1810 mAh battery in the iPhone 6, while the iPhone 6S Plus will have a 2750 mAh battery compared with the 2910 mAh battery in the 6 Plus.
Fortune's Gordon Kelly says that it might have been necessary for Apple to reduce the size of the battery in order to ensure that we don't see a repeat of bendgate. Apple is believed to have made the sides of the smartphone slightly thicker to make it twice as hard to bend.
It's worth noting that iOS 9 will introduce new battery efficiency tools so the smaller battery might not affect overall battery life.
iPhone 6s rumours: New charger
There have long been rumours about different charging methods for the iPhone 6S, including wireless charging (that didn't arrive with the iPhone 6 as predicted, but was introduced to the Apple Watch as inductive charging), as well as a new, reversible USB charger.
In August, rumoured about the new charger emerged on YouTube, thanks to a view that showed a prototype cable in action with a reversible USB connector as well as the already reversible Lightning connector.
iPhone 6S rumours: Facial recognition
A new patent awarded to Apple suggests that facial recognition could be coming to the iPhone as a means to unlock the device.
The iPhone would capture an image of the users face using the front-facing camera, and following analysis, providing it’s a match, will unlock the device.
Just because Apple has patented the technology doesn’t mean it will use it though – scanning fingerprints seems much more secure. We’d like to be able to point our phone at an acquaintance and get their ID though, that would save us from those embarrassing moments when you have forgotten who someone is.
iPhone 6S rumours: Gaming joystick Home button
This rumour is a bit out there but is completely justified as it comes from Apple itself. A recently discovered Apple patent reveals that the company is considering turning the iPhone's Home button into a gaming joystick.
Yes, that's right, the Home button could have a spring beneath it that allows it to pop up and become a joystick for when you're playing one of the many amazing games available on the iOS App Store.
It sounds like a great idea to the iPhone gamers here at Macworld, with one potential downfall being the Home button's susceptibility to damage if it's able to pop up from its standard position. It's probably unlikely that this feature will come to the next generation iPhone, but it's certainly a possibility for the iPhone after that!
iPhone 6S rumours: Apple SIM
The iPhone 6S might also offer Apple SIM, which was first introduced with Apple's latest batch of iPads and means you'll be able to choose a new network for your iPhone without changing the SIM card. Find out more in our Apple SIM FAQ.
The Financial Times has suggested that smartphones will soon function without SIM cards, as Apple and other smartphone manufacturers continue talks that could lead to an agreement for a standard built-in software/electronic SIM.
We might not see this happen this year so it may not come to the iPhone 6S, but it's certainly going to be something to look out for in 2016.
iPhone 6S rumours: Software
iOS 9 gives iPhone 6S clues
iOS 9, as expected, was launched in beta for developers after the keynote, who'll test the software ahead of its public rollout when the iPhone 6S comes out in September. This means it could offer some clues as to what new features we'll see in the iPhone 6S.
In fact, one clue has already been uncovered in the iOS 9 code. According to reports, the code suggests that the front-facing camera could get a big spec boost in future iPhones, capable of capturing 1080p video and 240fps Slo-Mo, and it might even get a flash.
Find out more about iOS 9 by following the links below:
iPhone 6S rumours: Launching alongside new iPhone 6S mini?
Rumours that hit the web just ahead of Christmas suggested that the iPhone 6S will be joined by an 'iPhone 6S mini', a new 4in smartphone from Apple that will launch alongside the iPhone 6S and 5.5in iPhone 7 in 2015.
That was according to sometimes accurate analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company (via Apple Insider), who says his sources claim that it is “possible” that Apple could launch three new versions of the iPhone next year. Find out more about the rumoured iPhone 6S mini (or iPhone 6c) here.
On 25 March 2015, new rumours from Asia also claimed that Apple plans to launch three new iPhones in September, one of which will feature a 4in display that could be called the iPhone 6C.
The rumour comes from DigiTimes, which claims we'll be getting an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6C later this year.
The report claims that the iPhone 6C will have an A8 chip like the one found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, NFC and Touch ID.
However, there's also a rumour that dismisses that idea. In early January 2015, a Chinese website called feng.com cited sources within Apple's supply chain who say that there's not going to be another 4in iPhone after all.
And analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says that the iPhone 5C is likely to be discontinued in September, and that there won't be a new 4in iPhone to replace it. Instead, the iPhone 5S will become the low-end offering, followed by the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as the mid-range, and the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as the flagship devices.
He does, however, think that a new 4in iPhone will arrive in 2016, and that it will be "key to extending momentum," for Apple's customers who prefer to use smaller phones. He thinks the new 4in iPhone will have NFC to make it compatible with Apple Pay, "completing the Apple Pay ecosystem."
iPhone 6S poll
iPhone 6S rumours: Did you mean Samsung Galaxy S6? (No, Samsung, we didn't)
These adverts seem to have disappeared now, but we've kept the information here for you.
Search for iPhone 6S on Google and you might be surprised by the ad that appears as the very top search result. Samsung has come up with several ads that make fun of Apple, suggesting to searchers that they must have meant Galaxy S6, the company's latest flagship phone.
The adverts include taglines such as "Awkward, you obviously mean S6," "We think you mean S6," and "The S6 goes all the way to the edge without bending," taking a dig at Apple's iPhone 6 Plus bendgate.
iPhone 6S rumours: Concept images
There are also some concept images of the iPhone 6S, so we thought we'd share them with you as food for thought. Most of them seem to be wishful thinking but you never know what might be going on behind the scenes at Apple for future iPhones. (See also: The 10 weirdest Apple concept art designs.)
ADR studio has imagined what the iPhone 6S might look like with the Apple Watch's Digital Crown. The concept shows the Digital Crown on the side of the iPhone, with integrated TouchID and more.
Designer Martin Hajek, who is becoming well-known for his technology concept illustrations, has come up with the concept image below for Business Insider, as well as the image featured at the top of this article.
Engineer Nikola Cirkovic has created a concept of the iPhone 6S, as picked up by Business Insider.
It has a 5.2in screen, two thin lines that act as sensors that can tell whether the iPhone is in your pocket or on the table, for examle, and finger sensors instead of switches and buttons on the sides.
Behance user Grisha Serov has also come up with an iPhone 6S concept based on the Apple Watch's steel design. Check out the full gallery on Grisha's portfolio.