It's 2015 and although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are still going strong it's time to look ahead to Apple's next flagship smartphone, which could be less than five months away. Here's what we know about the iPhone 6S release date, price and specs in the UK which might end up being the iPhone 7 including a possible 12Mp camera and Force Touch display. The latest rumour suggests a possible August launch. Updated 26/5/15. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2015.
iPhone 6S: The name and models - will it be the iPhone 7?
Following Apple's history with smartphones, the next iPhone will be an 'S' model. However, there's always the possibility it will put an end to this tradition so we may be in store for the iPhone 7 this year – you just never know. In fact, reports suggest that the new iPhone is going to be so different from the current models that Apple will indeed skip to the iPhone 7. This is what KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks who has a proven track record of predicting Apple launches correctly.
For the last two launches, Apple has introduced two new iPhones. We currently have the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus and previously Apple launched the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Will we get two models again this year? We think so but rumours are thin on the ground on the subject at the moment but it's early days so stay tuned as we'll be updating this article as new information becomes available. Read: The best iPhone 6 alternatives.
iPhone 6S release date: When is the iPhone 6S coming out?
These days it relatively easy to predict when a new generation of a flagship smartphone will arrive. Most manufacturers announce a new model annually while a few go for every six months.
Apple is one of the former and if we look at previous launches, it's highly likely that the iPhone 6S will be announced in September and will go on sale a week or two afterwards. Of course, if the launch event is towards the end of the month, the iPhone 6S release date could be early October. Bear in mind that if there are two new iPhones announced this year, they may not go on sale on the same day.
However, if we are to believe Economic Daily News (translated), the iPhone 6S will arrive a month early in August. It claims this year's yield for the device is better than expected so Apple may jump its own gun.
iPhone 6S: Design and specs
With an 'S' model iPhone, most things tend to stay the same in terms of design and specs. Usually there are a few tweaks here and there but Apple will save major changes for the next full model number – ie the iPhone 7.
It seems likely then that the iPhone 6S will look the same as the current iPhone 6. It will use the same chassis and come in the same colour options. The weight might change though due to different components inside or a new sapphire glass.
An S model sticks with the same screen size so we're probably looking at 4.7in and if there is an iPhone 6S Plus then it should remain at 5.5in. Resolutions are also likely to stay the same although one rumour suggests the new iPhone will have a 5in display with a 400ppi and what about the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge rivalling concept below by Michael Shanks?
So what will change?
If the design of the iPhone 6S remains the same, then Apple will provide upgrades in the form of new hardware. There are various rumours floating around, the most obvious of which, is of a new processor. The iPhone 6S will come with an A9 chip and could also get an upgrade in the RAM department to 2 GB.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner could be integrated into the display, according to one rumour, rather than sitting in the home button. But the most interesting rumour about the display, and more likely, is that it could feature Force Touch which has made its debut on the Apple Watch and new MacBook. The technology means the screen can tell between a tap and a press opening up various opportunities.
We thought the cameras would almost certainly be upgraded, although we're not sure a rumoured 21Mp rear camera is probable and the latest rumours suggest a jump to a 12Mp sensor.
More likely is a reversible USB connector. We already have the Lightning connector which can be plugged in either way round so we'd put money on Apple doing it at the other end of the cable, too. Also highly possible, practically a given, is that the iPhone 6S will come pre-loaded with iOS 9 which will probably be detailed at Apple's WWDC which normally takes place in June.
There's also a rumour suggesting that Apple may decide to use the same series 7000 aluminium that they use for the Apple Watch with the iPhone 6S. The Series 7000 aluminium is 60% stronger than standard aluminium, but keeps its lightweight form factor making it a great candidate for the iPhone 6S.
There are also reports from the WSJ that the iPhone 6S (possibly only the 6S Plus according to conflicting rumours) will support Force Touch. Currently built into the Apple Watch and the new 12inch MacBook, Force Touch gives the device pressure sensitivity, allowing them to distinguish between a light tap and a hard press, enabling opportunities for new gestures. The source is apparently an Apple supplier, so it's best to take this with a pinch of salt - Apple often tests technologies using suppliers that never make it into the final product, so this may also be the case with Force Touch.
One final rumour suggests that the iPhone 6S might be available in a rose gold colour in addition to the silver, gold and space grey, to match the rose gold Apple Watch Edition. Below is a concept image of a rose gold iPhone 6S by designer Martin Hajek.
iPhone 6S rumours: Did you mean Samsung Galaxy S6?
Google iPhone 6S and you'll come across a sneaky little jibe from Samsung, which is known for taking stabs at Apple through its marketing. A search for 'iPhone 6S' will produce an ad at the very top of Google that reads "Awkard, you obviously mean S6," linking to none other than Samsung.
Alternative results include "We think you mean S6," and "The S6 goes all the way to the edge without bending."
iPhone 6S price: How much will the iPhone 6S cost in the UK?
We don't have any solid clues that point to the iPhone 6S's price in the UK yet, but we expect that it'll be similar to the price of the current iPhone models.
The iPhone 6 starts at £539, while the iPhone 6 Plus starts at £619.