Read all of the latest iPhone 6S rumours, find out when the iPhone 6s will launch and what features it is predicted to offer.
Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived around back in September 2014, so it’s no surprise that Apple watchers are looking ahead and wondering what Apple’s smartphone plans for this 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 (sure it might be called iPhone 6s Plus but we think that’s a bit of a mouthfull!). We’ve also got information about the rumoured 4in iPhone 6c here.
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 24 April: Reports say iPhone 6S could be made with Apple Watch aluminium, Force Touch technology may be limited to iPhone 6S Plus only, new company aquisition hints at slimmer, better camera and no new 4in iPhone until 2016.
Force Touch features may soon arrive on the iPhone, according to Taiwanese site TechNews (translation).
On 9 March during its Spring Forward event, Apple unveiled a new MacBook, and with it comes 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.
The Force Touch technology could be exclusive to Apple’s larger iPhone, though. According to Economic Daily News, Taiwanese manufacturer TPK will be the supplier of the Force Touch sensors for the iPhone 6S Plus, but the iPhone 6S won’t sport the technology. The iPhone 6 already lacks the optical image stabilisation found in the iPhone 6 Plus, so it’s certainly possible that the newer model will have more advanced features than the 4.7in iPhone, too.
According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, the iPhone 6S could be made with 7000 series aluminium, which is the same metal that’s already being used in the Apple Watch Sport.
It’s designed to be durable and resistant to scratches but also light, at one-third of the density of steel.
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.
Failing that (it could be a bit of a big jump for the next generation of iPhone, particularly if Apple wants to bring Force Touch to the display too) the Touch ID fingerprint sensor itself could be improved in the next iPhone. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, says he expects the Touch ID module to be upgraded, with reduced reading errors for more reliable Apple Pay.
The latest reports to hit the web claim that the iPhone 6S may never launch. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-respected analyst with a proven track record of predicting Apple launches in the past, claims that the iPhone that launches this September might have such significant new features that Apple skips the iPhone 6S and goes straight for the iPhone 7.
One of the significant new features Kuo expects to see on the new iPhone is a Force Touch display, although he expects that it’ll be different to the technology used in the Apple Watch and new MacBook. Instead of actually detecting how much pressure you apply with your fingers, the iPhone’s Force Touch display will determine how much pressure you’re applying by measuring the contact area of your finger. Read more about Force Touch rumours below.
Kuo believes Apple will launch a 4.7in iPhone and a 5.5in iPhone this year but that a 4in iPhone isn’t likely.
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, some reports say 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, one 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. In fact, the chance of an early launch of the iPhoen 6s is slim based on reports that it won’t be going into production until June.
Production of the iPhone 6s is said to be starting in June, according to IHS Technology’s China director Kevin King. King claimed, according to reports, that that supply chain sources have hinted that production will begin in June. However, since reports appeared making this claim the source linked to appears to have disappeared.
There’s no real rush for the iPhone 6s, apparently the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are proving incredibly popular, so popular in fact that Apple’s expected to sell a ton more iPhone 6 models before it sells the iPhone 6s, according to an analyst.
Citi analyst Jim Suva is expecting Apple to beat estimations when it announces its financial results at the end of April.
Rumours about the next generation of iPhones have started to pick up pace now that we’ve reached April, 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.
Martin Hajek has come up with several realistic concept images of what the rose gold iPhone 6S might look look like, as shown below. See more over on his website.
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.
Rumours that emerged in November 2014 suggested 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 separate 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!
Other camera rumours that emerged following the discovery of a new Apple patent in March suggest that the company may use a new light-splitting, three-sensor camera system, which would improve the quality of both photos and videos on future iPhones.
First spotted by Apple Insider, the patent describes a system that uses mirrors and lenses to split light and direct it to three separate sensors, allowing the use of more pixels and therefore improving the quality of the images significantly.
Similar technology is already found in some professional cameras some made by Canon, Philips and Panasonic.
Apple has recently acquired LinX Imaging, a company that makes miniature multi-aperture cameras that are super high-quality.
It sounds like these cameras could be the perfect candidate for the next iPhone. Firstly, they’re half the height of standard mobile cameras, which could solve the issue of the protruding lens on the rear of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Secondly, they’re designed to be capable of capturing SLR quality images, which is a rumour we’ve already been hearing about Apple’s next iPhone.
The cameras can also be used to create 3D images, so a dual-lens camera might be in store.
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.
Back in early March Apple Insider reported that person familiar with Apple’s future product plans would offer 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.
IHS Technology’s China director Kevin King claims, according to reports, that his sources indicate that the new iPhone 6s will feature 2GB RAM. However, since reports appeared making this claim the source linked to appears to have disappeared.
A new patent awarded to Apple suggests that facial recognition could be coming to the iPhone as a means to unlock the device.
The iPhone would capture an image of the users face using the front-facing camera, and following analysis, providing it’s a match, will unlock the device.
Just because Apple has patented the technology doesn’t mean it will use it though – scanning fingerprints seems much more secure. We’d like to be able to point our phone at an acquaintance and get their ID though, that would save us from those embarrassing moments when you have forgotten who someone is.
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.
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. Find out more about the rumoured iPhone 6S mini (or iPhone 6c) here.
On 25 March 2015, new rumours from Asia also claimed that Apple plans to launch three new iPhones in September, one of which will feature a 4in display that could be called the iPhone 6C.
The rumour comes from DigiTimes, which claims we’ll be getting an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6C later this year.
The report claims that the iPhone 6C will have an A8 chip like the one found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, NFC and Touch ID.
However, there’s also a rumour that dismisses that idea. 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.
And analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says that the iPhone 5C is likely to be discontinued in September, and that there won’t be a new 4in iPhone to replace it. Instead, the iPhone 5S will become the low-end offering, followed by the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as the mid-range, and the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as the flagship devices.
He does, however, think that a new 4in iPhone will arrive in 2016, and that it will be “key to extending momentum,” for Apple’s customers who prefer to use smaller phones. He thinks the new 4in iPhone will have NFC to make it compatible with Apple Pay, “completing the Apple Pay ecosystem.”
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.
ADR studio has imagined what the iPhone 6S might look like with the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown. The concept shows the Digital Crown on the side of the iPhone, with integrated TouchID and more.
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. Check out the full gallery on Grisha’s portfolio.