iPhone 6S Rumors

Differences between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
Last year's models: the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. image copyright Apple Inc.

No more need for rumors: All the details of the iPhone 6S series are here.

 

Last Updated: Sept. 16, 2015

Apple has announced that it will be holding a media event on Sept. 9, 2015. It's a virtual certainty that the company will announce the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus at that time. Read on to learn what to expect from those models.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released almost a year ago, which means that the release of 2015's iPhone models is imminent—and that means it's time to start checking the rumor mill for news and speculation about what those new models will offer.

This article collects the most credible (and some of the most outlandish, just for fun) rumors about the next-generation iPhones so you can know what they may include when they come out.

Name

Since the release of the iPhone 3GS, Apple has been fairly consistent in its naming patterns for the iPhone: the first full model number in a series has just a number, the second includes a letter, usually S. The iPhone 3G became the 3GS, the iPhone 4 became to 4S, and the iPhone 5 became the 5S (and 5C, but that was a slightly different case since it was the first time Apple introduced two iPhones at once).

Given this pattern, it seems a safe assumption that the 2015 iPhone models will have names very close to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

There are no credible rumors about the devices' names yet, but if I had to guess what they'll be, that's what I'd go with (and it's what I'm going to use in this article until we hear otherwise).

Screen Size

Another element that's almost certain to be the same in these models is that their screens will be the same size as their predecessors'. Looking back at the pattern of devices, the 3GS had the same screen size and resolution as the 3G, the 4S had the same screen as the 4, the 5S the same screen as the 5.

 

With that as the history, it's extremely likely that the iPhone 6S will sport the 6's 4.7-inch screen, while the 6S Plus will offer the same 5.5-inch screen as the 6 Plus. Again, there are no solid rumors about this, but history is a good guide about these issues.

Force Touch

There's one interesting rumor that won't change the size of these devices' screens, but will influence how they work. The Apple Watch brought with it a technology Apple calls Force Touch. This allows the screen on the Watch to detect the difference between a tap and a longer or heavy press on the screen, which opens up a host of new user-interface options.

Almost all rumors expect that Force Touch is going to appear on the 6S series, though possibly under a different name.

Design

Stop me if you've heard this one before: the 6S and 6S Plus are likely to have pretty much the same design as the 2014 models. That's because, traditionally, the first new-model-number iPhone and the second-generation version of that model have the same physical design. Sometimes this has varied very slightly (the S model might be 0.01 inches taller than its predecessor, for instance), but expect the 6S series to be almost indistinguishable from the 6 series.

Some expect that the new Force Touch screen will make the 6S series slightly thicker than the previous generation.

The real way that these models may be different is weight. Apple tends to change and improve the interior components of the devices from one generation to the next, sometimes making the later phone lighter or, in other cases, packing more hardware into the same size phone, making for a heavier device. As of this writing, it's unclear which direction the 6S series will go, but expect some weight difference. 

There 6S may also bring a new color option to the iPhone line up: Rose Gold.

No word yet on whether that's just a color or if the 6S will be available in precious metal.

Processor

Every year, the processor at the heart of the iPhone changes. The iPhone 5S was built around Apple's A7 processor, while the iPhone 6 series sports an A8. Given that, assume that the 6S series will introduce the Apple A9 to the world. What exactly the new processor will offer is unknown right now, but expect more speed and processing power.

Storage

There should be some changes here. The iPhone 6 series offers models with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage. The two higher-end models are likely to stay the same, but I expect we'll see the low-end model offer 32GB of storage. After installing the iOS and built-in apps, there's not a ton of space available to users on the 16GB models. I'd bet that Apple will correct that and make the entry-level of the 6S series 32GB.

Memory

In addition to the amount of storage space for user data on the new phone, there are also rumors that the device's RAM—the memory used to run apps and the OS—will be upgraded. The iPhone 6 series devices have 1GB of RAM, but the 6S series may bring 2GB and with it a more responsive and powerful phone.

Camera

Here's a place where things start to get interesting. Previous iPhones have had just a single back-facing camera, but rumors suggest that the 6S series might sport 2 cameras on the back. This would allow the iPhone to produce even better photos, including in low-light environments and using optical (as opposed to software) zoom. This has the ring of truth right now, but it would also increase the cost and weight of the phone, so it might not come to pass.

Rumors about the cameras on this generation vary widely. Older rumors suggests that the iPhone 6S will not make major improvements to its camera's megapixel-rating compared to the 6 series. Those models sport an 8-megapixel camera and the 6S series may as well. A more recent set of rumors suggests that the iPhone 6S will sport a 12-megapixel camera, flash for the user-facing camera, and will be able to record 4K resolution video.

After the release of iOS 9, a developer claims to have found code in the OS that would support 1080p photos, 240 fps video at 720p resolution, and camera flash in the user-facing camera.

Touch ID

The next iPhone models are expected to include next-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanners, leading to greater accuracy and speed when using the tool, which should be especially valuable for Apple Pay transactions.

Phone & Carriers

No changes when it comes to phone companies: The 6S series will be available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon at the national level, plus through pre-paid carriers and regional phone companies. 

There may be better call quality, though, due to the addition of a second microphone, near the speaker.

Another rumor suggests that the 4G chips in the iPhone 6S will be much improved over the current generation, enabling cellular data speeds as much as twice as fast as on the 6 and 6 Plus. The chip enabling this speed boost may also be more efficient than the current one, improving battery life.

Price

Apple tends not to change its iPhone pricing while in the same model-number generation. Given that, expect to see the same pricing breakdown as with the 6 series (prices assume a new two-year contract with a phone company): 

iPhone 6S

  • 32GB - US$199
  • 64GB - $299
  • 128GB - $399

iPhone 6S Plus

  • 32GB - US$299
  • 64GB - $399
  • 128GB - $499

Availability

We know the phones will be announced on Sept. 9, 2015. Given Apple's previous release schedules, it seems likely that the phone will go on sale around Sept. 18 or Sept. 25.