iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus rumor roundup: Everything we know so far

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 9 Sep 2015

iphone 6 iphone 6 plus

Every year like clockwork Apple launches a new iPhone. Last year, Apple launched two new iPhones with bigger screens. We expect Apple to launch two new iPhones this year as well.

We take a look at all the new features and improvements that are expected in the new iPhones based on the rumors we’ve heard so far.

This year, we’ve compiled the rumor roundup in an FAQ format, which we hope answers all the questions you may have about the new iPhones. We’ll also keep it updated as we get more details.

What will the new iPhones look like and what will they be called?

Assuming that Apple follows its two-year design cycle, this year’s iPhones are going to be an “S” upgrade, so will most likely be called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

They will look exactly like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display, but will come with major internal changes. There are rumors that the iPhone 6s at least will be slightly thicker and bigger due to the inclusion of Force Touch technology. According to rumors, it will be wider and taller by 0.15mm than the iPhone 6, and thicker by 0.2mm. It is unclear if the iPhone 6s Plus will also see a similar increase in dimensions or not.

Will they get faster chips?

iPhone 4 which was the first iPhone to be powered by Apple’s in-house developed A4 chip. Since then every new iPhone has come with a next-generation A-series processor. So we expect iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s to be powered by an all-new A9 system-on-chip, which will faster and more power efficient.

Will they come with a better camera?

For the last three years, Apple has launched an iPhone with a camera that has the same 8-megapixel resolution. There are rumors that it might change this year, as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may feature a 12-megapixel camera.

In addition to the 12-megapixel camera, iPhone 6s camera lens will have a wider aperture, which is great news as it would also mean significantly improved image quality in low-light. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera lens have a f/2.2 aperture. It remains to be seen if the new iPhones will come with a camera lens with f/2.0 aperture or even wider aperture to bring them on par with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4, which come with an f/1.8 and f/1.9 aperture. There are also rumors that the lens for the iPhone 6S will be made of five elements just like the one found in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is also said to drop the sapphire cover lens for the 12MP camera, as it failed to pass the drop test.

The A9 chip, and the upgraded image signal processor will ensure that the high-resolution photos won’t look washed out. The camera will also support 4K video recording, stepping up from 1080p in the iPhone 6. 4K video recording support will enable users to capture the sharpest video footage on their iPhone yet and edit without feature of losing quality.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will sport a 5MP front-facing FaceTime camera, a major jump from iPhone 6’s 1.2MP FaceTime camera. While some individuals have speculated in the past that Apple would include an LED flash on the front of the handset, based on this report’s information that is not the case. Instead, when the front-facing camera is activated, and a photo is snapped, the screen will quickly flash a white screen to brighten up the image. This is similar to the way that Apple’s Photo Booth works, as well as the popular Snapchat. The front-facing camera will reportedly also get 720p slow-motion video recording, as well as panorama shots.

According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, it will be biggest camera jump ever since the launch of the iPhone as some have predicted.

Will they feature Force Touch?

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are widely expected to include Force Touch technology. Already available in Apple Watch and select MacBook models, this technology will open the door for new interactions in iOS 9 that’ll both simplify the interface and streamline the user experience. Force Touch won’t be used to bring up other context-sensitive menus like it does now on the Apple Watch, but will instead focus on simply functioning as a “consistent usage of Force Touch across the operating system to ‘shortcut’ actions. Don’t forget to read our article to find out what is Force Touch and how it can improve usability on the iPhone.

Siri was the killer feature of iPhone 4s (though it didn’t live up to the expectations initially), Touch ID was the killer feature of iPhone 5s, so it does look like Force Touch will be the killer feature of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

According to one report, Apple may actually change the name of Force Touch for the new iPhones, probably because it won’t work the same way as it works on the Apple Watch. It would be an interesting shift considering Force Touch is present on devices available to buy right now, so changing the name may cause some confusion.

Will Apple finally include 2GB RAM?

Frustrated with the page reloads in Safari when you switch tabs? According to rumors, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will finally come with 2GB RAM.

More is always better, so it would be nice if Apple surprises us with 3GB or 4GB RAM like Android-based smartphones, but given that Apple has included only 1GB RAM until now, it seems like wishful thinking. But doubling the RAM will improve user experience especially when you switch between tabs or switch between apps, where the lack of enough RAM has been noticeable.

What will be the Storage options?

Apple was criticized for offering the base model of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with only 16GB of storage space rather than 32GB. Phil Schiller has defended Apple’s decision by saying that cloud storage services are making up for the lack of gobbles of internal storage on devices, and that “most price-conscious customers are able to live in an environment where they don’t need gobs of local storage because these services are lightening the load.” He also added that the money saved on a higher capacity NAND chip can be used by Apple to further improve the camera, display or other features.

So it seems unlikely that Apple will offer the based model of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with 32GB of storage space. Recent reports suggest the base iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models will come with 16GB storage space, which would be quite disappointing when you consider that photos taken with the new 12MP camera will take more space.

Will they come with improved battery life?

There are rumors that the new iPhones will come with slightly smaller battery capacity than its predecessors. The iPhone 6s may come with a 1715mAh battery, down from the 1800mAh sealed battery found on the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s Plus will come with a 2750mAh battery, down from the 2910mAh battery found on the iPhone 6 Plus.

It would be quite disappointing if the new iPhones came with smaller batteries, but Apple is probably confident that the power efficiency improvements in the chipset, display, modem, and in other key components will ensure that the new iPhones to deliver as good battery life as their predecessors.

Besides, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will come installed with iOS 9, which Apple claims has been optimized to extend iPhone’s battery life by an additional hour. iOS 9 also includes a new Low Power mode, which extends your iPhone’s battery life by 3 additional hours.

Will they come in new Colors?

There are rumors that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in two new colors: Rose gold (most likely) and Pink. Gold is an extremely popular color in Asia, so a luxury rose gold finish would be a good addition to the lineup.

Since the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus would look almost the same, I’m quite sure the new colors would be quite popular as it will be only way to show off you’ve the latest iPhone.

iPhone 6s Rose Gold render

Will they get Wireless Charging?

You can charge the Apple Watch wirelessly using magnetic induction. It is quite possible that like Force Touch, wireless charging is another feature that Apple could introduce in the new iPhones. But we haven’t got any clues that suggest iPhone 6s will support wireless charging.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing has argued that wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add.

Having used the wireless charge for the Apple Watch, I must admit that it is a lot more convenient than trying to plug the Lightning connector to the iPhone. However, I would prefer a wireless charging pad rather than the inductive charger that comes with the Apple Watch, so I can just place the phone on the pad to start charging it.

What about Fast charging?

Most premium Android-based smartphones these days support fast charging feature, which allows smartphones like the Galaxy Note 5 can be charged from 0-100% in less than 2 hours compared to iPhone 6 Plus which takes around 3 and half hours to be fully charged. It can be charged faster with an iPad charger.

We’ve heard rumors that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature fast charging technology, but haven’t heard any reports of the possibility of the feature coming to the new iPhones, so it seems highly unlikely.

Will Apple launch a 4-inch iPhone?

There have been several rumors that Apple will launch a 4-inch iPhone. However, recent reports seem to indicate that Apple may not launch a 4-inch iPhone, often dubbed iPhone 6c, this year.

I think Apple will discontinue iPhone 6 Plus when it launches iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and continue to offer the iPhone 6, which will be $100 cheaper, and iPhone 5s, which will be the new entry level model. So I don’t think Apple will launch a 4-inch iPhone this year. They will most likely launch a new 4-inch iPhone next year when they have to phase out the 4-inch iPhone 5s.

How much will they cost?

They will cost the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. So the base model of iPhone 6s will cost $199, and iPhone 6s Plus will cost $299 with a two-year carrier contract, and the unlocked iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will cost $649 and $749 respectively.

When will they be unveiled?

Apple is widely expected to unveil iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at a media event on September 9. Apple is also expected to unveil the long-awaited new Apple TV at the event.

When will they go on sale?

If Apple follows last year’s pattern than the new iPhones should be available for pre-order on September 11th, followed by the launch on September 18.

That’s everything we know about the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus so far. We’ll update the post as soon as we get more information as expect more leaks as we get closer to the event.

Please feel free to drop us a line if you’ve any questions. Are you eagerly waiting for the iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus? Let us know in the comments.

Update (September 4): This post was updated to add more information about iPhone 6s’ camera features such as 4K video recording, improved FaceTime camera for selfies, and also the storage capacity of the based models.