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.

Read next: iPhone 6s preview | iPhone 6s Plus preview  | How to watch the iPhone launch livestream

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.

iPhone 6s launch event invite

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."

Read more: Decoding the clues in the iPhone 6s event invite (and 12 more cryptic Apple invitations)

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.

2GB of RAM is expected in the A9 processor.

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. 

Read: Is it possible to get a free iPad? The truth about free iPad scams

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?

According to Taiwan's Economic Daily News, the iPhone 6S could be made with 7000 series aluminium, which is the same metal that's already being used in the Apple Watch Sport.

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

Apple's WWDC 2015 will kicked off with a keynote on 8 June, and we got our first glimpse at iOS 9 in addition to OS X 10.11 El Capitan. 

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:

How to update to iOS 9

iOS 9 preview

iOS 9 vs Android M comparison preview

12 brilliant iOS 9 tips

iOS 9 release date

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."

[We have the latest rumours about the Apple iCar here, plus read why we don't think Apple will make an iCar]

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.