In all honesty, I’m surprised it took this long. Nine months have passed since the iPhone 6 launch for the first major iPhone 6S leak to emerge, but finally it is here – and it’s a doozy.
The leak comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a rock solid track record on Apple leaks in recent years. Kuo spoke privately to investors today breaking down 11 key features he understands will make up the key elements of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus when they are launched in September.
AppleInsider obtained a copy of Kuo’s claims:
- Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
- Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
- There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition
- The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP
- One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
- The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
- The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
- If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
- The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
- Gesture control support
- It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models
Breaking Down The Key Points
There’s a wealth of information here, all of which sounds not only reasonable but logical. Let’s break down some of the key ones:
The Disappointment – the biggest talking point for some will be what isn’t there: a 4-inch iPhone 6S. Many have expressed frustration that Apple has not kept the smaller form factor and I have previously stated reasons Apple must make it. Sadly it looks like a watered down iPhone 6C is the best we can hope for.
The Talking Point – Force Touch is what will likely prove to be the key selling point of the 6S models. Having introduced it on the Apple Watch and 13-inch MacBook Pro it makes perfect sense for Apple to extend this to the iPhone (and eventually the iPad).
How Apple does this will be crucial. The Apple Watch isn’t immediately intuitive and iPhones already have gesture, swipe and long press commands. Adding another must be done right.
A Performance Leap – Let’s be clear: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have incredibly fast real world user experiences. That said in moving on from the iPhone 5S they also have one of the smallest generational performance leaps in iPhone history – primarily due to the jump in their native screen resolutions.
With the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus Apple looks set to address that. The A9 chipset will inevitably bring notable gains, but the bump to 2GB of RAM is long overdue and should open up the potential for iOS 9 to have dramatically improved multitasking. What form that will take remains to be seen.
In making its first resolution bump in three generations Apple clearly means business and I suspect megapixels will actually prove to be one of the smaller talking points in a radical overhaul when the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are unveiled. A potential move to a faster f stop (f1.8 like the LG G4 or f1.9 like the Galaxy S6) would be particularly appealing when combined with Apple’s class leading image processing.
Then there will be a bigger talking point than new iPhones at the September launch…
All About iOS 9
‘S edition’ iPhones often get a bad rep. This tends to be because they look the same as the previous generation and it’s unfair as – design aside – past S models have dramatically improved every element of the phone. Still their underappreciation looks set to continue because of iOS 9.
Talk has been that iOS 9 will primarily focus on polishing iOS 8. That means an emphasis on stability, security and speed. I don’t doubt these elements will be a factor, but the move to 2GB of RAM in the new phones suggests we should expect a lot more.
After all the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are already incredibly fast performers on iOS 8, so optimisations alone to iOS 9 wouldn’t justify the move to 2GB of RAM and Apple prides itself on saying it doesn’t engage in a specification war without reason.
Consequently Apple will be looking to make a strong argument as to why users should upgrade to the superpowered S range and that means finding new, exciting and more demanding features for iOS 9 only the new models can handle.
I’ve already mentioned true split window multitasking – something that would be particularly appealing on the larger iPhone 6 Plus – but also Force Touch may be used to trigger more demanding dynamic modes such as toggling between full speed, slow motion and time lapse video recording, burst photography, advanced game modes and more.
Of course we won’t truly know about any of this until Apple unveils the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in September alongside iOS 9. Then again I’m also in no doubt that further leaks before then mean we will have a strong idea of what will be coming. We’re already off to an exciting start…
source: forbes.com by Gordon Kelly