iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Hardware & Software Specs

iPhone 6S Series
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. image credit: Apple Inc.

Introduced: Sept. 9, 2015

Discontinued: Still being sold 

Apple has a well-established pattern by now with the iPhone: The first model of a new series number introduces major changes, the second generation adds an "S" to its name and refines the original model with mostly subtle (but still useful) improvements. The company's been following those models since the iPhone 3G was replaced by the 3GS, and it hasn't changed course with the 6 series.

The iPhone 6S is a lot like the iPhone 6 that preceded it but makes a number of key under-the-hood improvements that should take what's already the best smartphone on the market and make it even better.

The 6S and 6S Plus are virtually identical except for screen size, weight, and battery life. All the key features are available on both phones.

Key changes introduced on the iPhone 6S include:

  • 3D Touch support—The 6S's screen supports 3D Touch, a feature introduced on the Apple Watch that allows the device to behave differently based on whether the screen is tapped or pressed for a longer period of time 
  • Improved cameras—Both cameras on the 6S are substantially improved over the 6. The back camera jumps from 8 megapixels to 12 and can now shoot video at 4K HD resolution. The user-facing camera goes from 1.2 megapixels to 5 and can use the screen of the iPhone as a flash. Also supported are Live Photos, an animated photo that can be activated using 3D Touch
  • Better internals—The phone is built around Apple's A9 processor and M9 motion coprocessor (the 6 series used the A8 and M8), and sports new chips for speedier connections to cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

iPhone 6S Hardware Features

  • Improved cameras, as detailed above
  • Improved internals, as detailed above
  • 3D Touch support, as detailed above
  • 2nd generation Touch ID fingerprint reader
  • Taptic Engine, a force-feedback device that provides vibration as feedback for various events on the phone
  • Support for existing iPhone hardware features like GPS, the Lightning connector, photo and video capture, etc.

iPhone 6S & 6S Plus Software Features

  • 3D Touch support built into iOS and apps
  • Live Photos 
  • Support for all existing iPhone features like FaceTime, Siri, GPS, AirPlay, App Store, Apple Pay, etc.

Previous Models

In past years when Apple has released new iPhones, it has kept the previous models around at lower prices. The same is true this year (all prices assume two-year phone contracts):

  • The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB and 64GB models for $199 and $299
  • The iPhone 6 will also offer 16GB and 64GB models for $99 and $199
  • The iPhone 5S will remain in a 16GB and 32GB version for free and $49.