iPhone 6s sales update
Update 28 October: Since it went on sale in September, 30 percent of new iPhone buyers have been Android users jumping ship, reports Apple in its quarterly earnings call (via 9to5Mac). Apple sold 48 million iPhones during Q4, meaning around 14 million of these new buyers are ex-Android fans.
Apple iPhone 6s UK release date, UK price: When is the iPhone 6s going on sale? How much does the iPhone 6s cost? How much iPhone storage do you need?
The iPhone 6s will be able to pre-order on 12 September and buy on from 8am local time on 25 September in the UK and US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Singapore. Apple says by the year end it will be available in over 130 countries via more than 400 carriers. See: Best iPhone 6S deals.
The iPhone 6s will be available from £539 for the 16GB model, or you can pay £619 for 64GB or £699 for 128GB. Choose your storage model carefully, though, because as TechCrunch has shown Live Photos (we'll come on to that later) take up roughly twice the amount of storage space as a standard 12Mp photo. If you will be taking a lot of photos on your iPhone, you'd be much safer opting for the 64- or 128GB iPhone 6s. Also see: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
How to pre-order the iPhone 6s: Where to buy the iPhone 6s
The iPhone 6s is now available to pre-order. You can do so directly via Apple's online store if you want to buy it SIM-free, or through any major mobile operator if you'd rather pay for a monthly contract.
Some of the UK's largest mobile operators have already shared some details with us.
Those who can't wait to get the new iPhone can use O2's Recycle programme to cash in their old phone in order to get a new one, regardless of what network they are on. It's offering Recycle values from £280 for the iPhone 6, £310 for the iPhone 6 Plus and £160 for the iPhone 5s; Android phones can also be recycled.
Three will offer iPhone 6s customers 4G at no extra cost, plus its Feel At Home programme whereby you are charged UK data rates in 18 countries (and that means it's free when you're within your data limit).
EE has confirmed the iPhone 6s will come with LTE-Advanced and Wi-Fi Calling.
MobilePhonesDirect is offering a Vodafone contract for £44. This includes no upfront cost and unlimited minutes, texts and data (10GB after three months). You can view the offer here.
If you are planning to buy the iPhone 6s in store when it goes on sale Friday, be sure to get there early. It will be on sale from 8am local time, but there is likely to be big queues.
Apple iPhone 6s new features: What's new in the iPhone 6s?
The first thing you'll notice about the new iPhone 6s is that beside the Silver, Gold and Space Grey models is a new Rose Gold iPhone 6s made from 7000 series aluminium. In its design the iPhone 6s is otherwise like the iPhone 6 before it, and the key upgrades come in the core hardware and the software.
The Apple A9 processor is a good place to start. This is Apple's third-generation 64-bit chip, and the companion M9 motion coprocessor is now integrated to it and always-on. Apple claims the A9 is 70 percent faster than the A8 in CPU tasks, and 90 percent better in graphics tasks. It's also finally increased the iPhone's RAM to 2GB.
A graphics demonstration from PixelToys showed just how well the iPhone 6s works for gaming, an experience that is further enhanced by the big new thing in terms of the iPhone's software: 3D Touch.
3D Touch is able to recognise how long and how hard you press, with a light tap letting you 'peek' into items or apps, and a harder press letting you delve deeper and launch that content. It works with third-party apps, too. For example, you can tap on the Facebook icon on the home screen to see options to check in or update your status, then press harder to select and launch one of those tasks.
3D Touch can also be used to cycle through open apps by applying pressure on the screen's edge and bringing up the recent items menu that was previously called up with a double-tap of the home button. And that's new, too, with a second-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner said to operate at double the speed.
Apple has long been criticised for sticking with an 8Mp primary camera in the iPhone, but it's always said it won't add megapixels until it can be certain image quality won't suffer as a result. Apple has finally bumped up the iSight camera to 12Mp, which means it has 50 percent more pixels. There's a faster autofocus, support for larger panoramas and the same great colours with no visible noise. For the first time the iPhone camera supports 4K video recording, too.
The front camera has also been upgraded to a 5Mp FaceTime HD model, and Apple has figured out a way to increase the screen brightness three-fold in order to create a Retina Flash for low-light selfles.
Apple's also touting Live Photo as a compelling reason to buy the new iPhone 6s. We've seen this function before in Android phones, and it basically combines a still image with a second and a half of video shot either side of the photo in order to bring that photo to life when you press on it. Live Photo is supported by all Apple devices, including the MacBook, iPad and Apple Watch, and will also play by default as you scroll through your Camera Roll.
Note, however, that TechCrunch has shown Live Photos take up roughly twice the amount of storage space as a standard 12Mp photo, so you may want to choose your iPhone storage capacity carefully.
Apple iPhone 6s specifications: What to expect from the new iPhone 6s
We've explained the key specification changes above, but here's a list of exactly what to expect from the iPhone 6s.
• Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold colour options in 7000 series aluminium
• 4.7in (1334x750, 326ppi) Retina HD display with 1400:1 contrast ratio, 500 cd/m2 brightness, fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, Reachability
• Apple A9 64-bit processor with embedded M9 motion coprocessor
• 2GB of RAM
• 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage
• 12Mp iSight camera with 1.22µ pixels, f/2.2 aperture, five-element lens and True Tone flash, now with support for Live Photo and 4K video recording
• 5Mp FaceTime HD selfie camera with Retina Flash and 720p video
• Second-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor
• 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
• Bluetooth 4.2
• aGPS and GLONASS
• 4G LTE Advanced
• iOS 9
iPhone 6s launch video highlights
iPhone 6s launch live blog
iPhone 6s rumours before the reveal
Below is the multitude of leaked details and images that surfaced online prior to the iPhone 6s' launch. Read on to see which rumours turned out to be true and which were completely made up.
Latest news about the Apple event
Apple has confirmed that there will be a special event on 9 September. Invites were sent out on 27 August with the tagline "Hey Siri, give us a hint." Siri, of course, doesn't give away much in the way of information about the upcoming 9 September event, but it does show that Siri will play an integral role at the event. As we've seen in the iOS 9 public beta, Apple is giving its personal assistant on the iPhone a facelift to look more like its counterpart on the Apple Watch. But could the functionality be expanding? Possibly coming to a new Apple TV that'll be able to act upon every voice command you give, by saying "Hey siri"? While no one knows for sure, we can imagine a new Apple TV surfacing with built in Siri integration that'll control all HomeKit enabled devices, as we already know that the Apple TV will be the 'middle man' between you and your HomeKit enabled devices when away from home. Either way, we don't have long to go until we find out!
There have been few leaks over the last few days, but the latest is that the iPhone 6S will have a '3D Touch' screen. This is really a developement of the rumours about a Force Touch screen. It's a development because 3D Touch means there are three types of touch that the screen can recognise, as opposed to two with Force Touch on the Apple Watch. Apparently, the iPhone 6S will be able to distinguish between a tap, a light press and a 'deep' or hard press. These different touches will be used in iOS 9 to make it possible to launch apps and have them open in different ways. A deep press on the Music app, say, could launch it on the For You tab. Plus, pressing hard on a point of interest in Maps could launch turn-by-turn directions from your current location.
A third-party case manufacturer has told us that the new iPhone (referring to the 4.7in iPhone 6S) will fit into existing iPhone 6 cases as it "should be only 0.02mm thicker". We, along with the rest of the world, assume Apple will launch a pair of 'S' model phones, although the iPhone 6S Plus is a real mouthful that Apple might want to avoid.
Plus: References to Force Touch has been found in iOS 9 code by Twitter user @hamzazood. It doesn't prove that the new iPhone(s) will support Force Touch, but it's a good signal that at some point in the future you'll be able to interact with your iPhone in new ways - just as Apple Watch owners can already. Obviously, we hope it does mean that the iPhone 6S will have a Force Touch screen. There's also a leaked image which claims to be the outer wrapper for the iPhone 6S Plus box, which 'confirms' the naming strategy. As with all leaks, it's of questionable reliability, and the low quality of the photo doesn't help:
Some specs have also leaked on the same Chinese website, including that the batteries in the new phones will be smaller capacity than the current models. For example, it claims the 6S Plus will have a 2750mAh li-po, compared to the 2910mAh battery in the iPhone 6 Plus. It's possible that Apple wants to continue the trend of making thinner phones. With more efficient silicon, it should be possible to maintain the same time between charges as the old model while making the phone smaller and lighter. It would be nice to have longer battery life though, but we'll have to wait and see if the rumours prove true when Apple unveils the 2015 iPhones on 9 September.
iPhone 6S: The name and models - will it be the iPhone 7?
Following Apple's history with smartphones, the next iPhone will be an 'S' model. However, there's always the possibility it will put an end to this tradition so we may be in store for the iPhone 7 this year – you just never know. In fact, reports suggest that the new iPhone is going to be so different from the current models that Apple will indeed skip to the iPhone 7. This is what KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks who has a proven track record of predicting Apple launches correctly.Also see: Best new phones coming in 2015.
For the last two launches, Apple has introduced two new iPhones. We currently have the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus and previously Apple launched the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Will we get two models again this year? Read: The best iPhone 6 alternatives.
iPhone 6S release date: When is the iPhone 6S coming out?
These days it relatively easy to predict when a new generation of a flagship smartphone will arrive. Most manufacturers announce a new model annually while a few go for every six months.
Apple is one of the former and if we look at previous launches, it's highly likely that the iPhone 6S will be announced in September and will go on sale a week or two afterwards. Bear in mind that if there are two new iPhones announced this year, they may not go on sale on the same day.
Vodafone revealed in June that the iPhone 6S or 'New iPhone' as it is referred to will go on sale on 25 September with pre-order starting on 18 September. The information was sent in an email to staff but seen by Mobile News.
That's in line with rumours from Apple Insider that the iPhone 6S will be up for pre-order in Germany from 18 September.
We now know that the launch event will take place on 9 September, after Apple sent out official invitations on 27 August.
That means the rumours of a 9 September launch event were right (our original prediction was 8 September). Buzzfeed claimed to have spoken with a source who said 9 September will be the big day for the new iPhone's unveiling.
We know that the new iPhones are close, though. September is only next month, after all. And around 150 iPhones carrying identifiers that are yet to hit public circulation have been spotted by mobile app marketing firm Fisku, which believes those identifiers belong to the unreleased iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
It looks like Apple is planning the biggest iPhone launch yet with a record order of between 85 million and 90 million units from its manufacturer, the Wall Street Journal reports via people familiar with the matter. Last year Apple ordered 70-80 million. The source also confirmed the screen sizes will remain the same at 4.7- and 5.5in.
iPhone 6S: Design and specifications
With an 'S' model iPhone, most things tend to stay the same in terms of design and specs. Usually there are a few tweaks here and there but Apple will save major changes for the next full model number – ie the iPhone 7. The above leaked image shows an essentially identical case for the iPhone 6S.
It seems likely then that the iPhone 6S will look the same as the current iPhone 6. It will use the same chassis and come in the same colour options - with the addition of a pink option, according to new pictures leaked by Daliulian. The weight might change though due to different components inside or a new sapphire glass. The below image shows the design will be just 0.13mm thicker so it will fit most existing cases.
The latest on the iPhone 6S comes via KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who is known for accurate info. Kuo says the next iPhone will have a bigger screen and be 0.2mm thicker and 0.15mm taller than the current model. Colours will also reportedly match the Apple Watch and the iPhone will use the same 7000 series aluminium.
A lot of Apple users will be hoping for 32GB of storage as the smallest iPhone but it looks like it will remain at 16GB. The below image reportedly shows a 16GB Toshiba flash chip with a 19nm process. It seems that we'll get the choice of 64- and 128GB alongside this again.
However, a leak which supposedly has sources at iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, says the lowest capacity will be 32GB.
That rumour is backed up by a new new report suggests that Apple will finally ditch 16GB as the base storage capacity for the iPhone - contrary to the previous reports from 9to5Mac. M.I.C.Gadget thinks the line-up will include 32-, 64- and 128GB options saying "We can't tell you from what Foxconn's department we received information, but we can only say that the packaging of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus don't have sticker with '16GB capacity."
An S model sticks with the same screen size so we're probably looking at 4.7in and if there is an iPhone 6S Plus then it should remain at 5.5in. Resolutions are also likely to stay the same although one rumour suggests the new iPhone will have a 5in display with a 400ppi and what about the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge rivalling concept below by Michael Shanks?
So what will change?
If the design of the iPhone 6S remains the same, then Apple will provide upgrades in the form of new hardware. There are various rumours floating around, the most obvious of which, is of a new processor. The iPhone 6S will come with an A9 chip and could also get an upgrade in the RAM department to 2GB.
The latest reports say that the iPhone 6S's A9 chip will offer "performance to kill for," that will be super-speedy according to analyst Srini Sundararajan from Summit Research. We can't wait to get our hands on it and put it through our benchmark tests to see how it compares with rivals.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner could be integrated into the display, according to one rumour, rather than sitting in the home button. But the most interesting rumour about the display, and more likely, is that it could feature Force Touch which has made its debut on the Apple Watch and new MacBook. The technology means the screen can tell between a tap and a press opening up various opportunities. As mentioned at the top of the page, sources say this is confirmed for the new iPhone models.
The possible addition of Force Touch has been confirmed, according to Bloomberg's sources. The report also states that the new iPhone models will keep the 4.7- and 5.5in screen size options.
There are also reports from the WSJ that the iPhone 6S (possibly only the 6S Plus according to conflicting rumours) will support Force Touch. The source is apparently an Apple supplier, so it's best to take this with a pinch of salt - Apple often tests technologies using suppliers that never make it into the final product, so this may also be the case with Force Touch.
We thought the cameras would almost certainly be upgraded, although we're not sure a rumoured 21Mp rear camera is probable and the latest rumours suggest a jump to a 12Mp sensor. The iOS 9 code suggests the front camera will be able to record 1080p video at 60fps, record 240fps slow motion and support a flash.
More likely is a reversible USB connector. We already have the Lightning connector which can be plugged in either way round so we'd put money on Apple doing it at the other end of the cable, too. Also highly possible, practically a given, is that the iPhone 6S will come pre-loaded with iOS 9 which will probably be detailed at Apple's WWDC which normally takes place in June.
There's also a rumour suggesting that Apple may decide to use the same series 7000 aluminium that they use for the Apple Watch with the iPhone 6S. The Series 7000 aluminium is 60% stronger than standard aluminium, but keeps its lightweight form factor making it a great candidate for the iPhone 6S.
NFC will once again be present but with an upgraded chip. It's unclear what this will mean for the iPhone 6S but it looks like it might add a secure element processor, removing the need for a separate chip.
One final rumour suggests that the iPhone 6S might be available in a rose gold colour in addition to the silver, gold and space grey, to match the rose gold Apple Watch Edition. Below is a concept image of a rose gold iPhone 6S by designer Martin Hajek.
This matches up nicely with what Kuo's information who also says the iPhone will have larger screen and a slightly bigger body - 0.2mm thicker and 0.15mm taller.
iPhone 6S leaked images
Update 31 July: The influx of leaked iPhone 6S images continues with photos of what appears to be internal components destined for the new phone, as shown below. There's not much we can glean from the leak aside from further evidence that the external design of the iPhone is unlikely to see much in the way of changes.
Update 27 July: A leaked image reportedly showing the iPhone 6S shows the phone will have the same design and the Touch ID is unlikely to be moved from the home button to the rear or even the display. Reports also suggest a stronger aluminium to avoid a repeat of bendgate.
iPhone 6S rumours: Did you mean Samsung Galaxy S6?
Google iPhone 6S and you'll come across a sneaky little jibe from Samsung, which is known for taking stabs at Apple through its marketing. A search for 'iPhone 6S' will produce an ad at the very top of Google that reads "Awkard, you obviously mean S6," linking to none other than Samsung.
Alternative results include "We think you mean S6," and "The S6 goes all the way to the edge without bending."
iPhone 6S price: How much will the iPhone 6S cost in the UK?
We don't have any solid clues that point to the iPhone 6S's price in the UK yet, but we expect that it'll be similar to the price of the current iPhone models.
The iPhone 6 starts at £539, while the iPhone 6 Plus starts at £619.