Take a look at the latest concept images of the iPhone 6S, and read all of the latest iPhone 6S rumours
Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived just six months ago in September 2014, but that hasn’t stopped Apple watchers from looking ahead now that 2015 is well under way and wondering what Apple’s smartphone plans for the year might be. Here, we round up all of the rumours about the iPhone 6’s successor, dubbed iPhone 6S, including release date rumours, specs and new features.
In this article, we’re focusing on the next-generation of iPhone, that is, 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.
If you’re after information about the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, visit our iPhone 6 review and iPhone 6 Plus review. See also: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus. You can also read our full first look review of the Apple Watch, and our Apple Watch Release Date story, including UK pricing for the Apple Watch.
Also, find out what’s in store for the year: Apple predictions 2015
Updated on 11 March with new colour rumours, spec boost speculation, Apple SIM information and a new waterproofing patent.
The most likely release date for the iPhone 6S is September 2015, which would follow Apple’s iPhone release schedule history. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in September 2014, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September 2013, the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and the iPhone 4S in October 2011.
However, it’s possible that Apple will choose to begin releasing new smartphones twice a year, to keep up with the ever growing and improving competition from rivals such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and more.
In fact, the latest rumour (albeit a particularly shaky one), suggests that the iPhone 6S could arrive in spring 2015 alongside the Apple Watch, which will be released on 24 April. However, Apple’s Spring Forward event came and went on 9 March with no mention of a new iPhone to join the Apple Watch, so we think it’s highly unlikely.
Rumours about the next generation of iPhones have started to pick up pace now that we’re on our way through March, 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.
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.
The latest rumours to come 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.
There have been some rumours to suggest that it’ll be more than just an additional colour when it comes to design and build though. In particular, 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.
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.
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.
On 9 March during its Spring Forward event, Apple unveiled a new MacBook, and with it you’ll get 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.
Rumours that emerged in November 2014 suggest 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 new 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!
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.
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.
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.
More reports that emerged in early March suggest that the processor will be paired with 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.
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.
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!
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.
There have been some 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.
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.
However, there’s yet another rumour that dismisses that idea (we’re noticing a trend, here). In early January 2015, a Chinese website calledcited sources within Apple’s supply chain who say that there’s not going to be another 4in iPhone after all.
There are already some concept images of the iPhone 6S (but no leaked components or shots from the production line yet), so we thought we’d share them with you as food for thought.
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.