There’s a popular (and not unjustified) accusation that Apple is obsessed with making iPhones thinner. The argument goes like this: they are thin enough, fit a bigger battery!
Well now we know the iPhone 6S will be first ever iPhone to be bigger than its predecessor, but not by much and not for the reason millions desire…
Leaked schematics attained by Engadget Japan claim that the iPhone 6S will get a small size increase so it measures 138 x 67 x 7.1 mm (0.2mm fatter than the iPhone 6). The good news is this equates to an overall size increase of under 3% which should be imperceptible to most users, but the bigger question is:
Why is the iPhone 6S getting thicker at all?
Especially after recent leaks confirmed some key internal components will shrink.
iPhone 6S leaked schematics – Image credit Engadget
While it is impossible to speak with 100% certainty until after the official launch, the obvious contender is Force Touch. Confirmed by numerous sources (including a Bloomberg exclusive), the hardware behind Force Touch is integrated via an additional thin layer on the display – and yes, that’s about 0.1 to 0.2mm thick.
What is Force Touch? Already available on the Apple Watch and MacBook Pro line, Force Touch detects contact pressure on the screen and brings recognition for touches made with more pressure. This opens up a whole new array of potential input options. Theoretical examples I’ve given before include:
Could There Also Be A Bigger Battery?
If there is I personally doubt it will be connected to the width increase. 9to5Mac obtained a leaked iPhone 6S chassis last week which showed it will be identical to the iPhone 6, but with a lot of changes to the internal component mounting points.
So what does this tell us about the upgrades that will come? Quite a lot…
Shuffling these about coincides with an expected shrink to the core chipset to make space for an increase to 2GB of RAM and an upgraded 12MP camera module. Whether Apple can squeeze a more capacious battery on top of this remains to be seen.
Given Apple recently talked up the increased power efficiency of iOS 9, I’d be surprised if any substantial upgrades are made to physical battery capacity when the iPhone 6 is announced in September. Instead expect any major improvements to be derived from software optimisation.
So, while the iPhone 6S launch may see the thinness accusations put on hold for a generation, many are still likely to be looking past all the whizz bang new features (and the rubbish one Apple will keep) to see whether Apple has finally equipped the iPhone with battery life to compete with the best…