On September 9th, Apple will introduce the ninth iteration of its iconic iPhone. Incredibly, Apple has consistently managed to release new iPhone models with compelling features for years on end. From what we know of the iPhone 6s, 2015 will be no different.
As a quick reminder, Apple's special iPhone event is slated to kick off on Wednesday, September 9 at 10 am Pacific Time.
Here's what we know so far.
To begin, let's talk product naming. If history is any indication, Apple will be releasing two new iPhone models this month: the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. As 'S'-generation upgrades, Apple's new iPhone models will likely retain the same form factor as the current iPhone 6. Indeed, Apple only tends to introduce new iPhone hardware designs once every other year.
Like other 'S' upgrades before it, the iPhone 6s will mostly focus on bringing new software features and 'under-the-hood' hardware upgrades to the table. Here's what we can expect to see.
First off, the new iPhone models will support a feature called "Force Touch." Originally introduced on the Apple Watch, and later incorporated onto Apple's MacBook, Force Touch technology will allow new iPhones to not only detect the location of fingers on the display, but also the strength of the press.
In doing so, Apple will be able to open up entirely new methods of user interaction that will result in a more intuitive and efficient user experience.
9to5Mac highlighted one such example a few weeks ago:
"New to the Force Touch experience, a user can look up a point of interest in the Maps application, and then Force Touch on the destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions. Currently, if a user wants to start navigating to a destination, she must search for the point of interest, click the navigation logo on the map view, then click another button to actually start navigating. In this case, the Force Touch gesture will skip two steps."
Underneath the hood, the new iPhones will be getting some substantial and exciting upgrades. Specifically, the iPhone 6s will finally be graced with 2GB of RAM. This is a welcome upgrade and will help app developers craft more expansive applications while also making the entire OS feel a whole lot snappier.
And, like all other iPhone upgrades, expect a blazing-fast processor in the form of a new 1.5GHz tri-core A9 processor. In short, the iPhone 6s should really scream.
While the iPhone 6s will retain the same form factor, there are rumors that a new color option will be added to the mix. While nothing is 100% certain until Tim Cook gets on stage and makes it official, there are rumblings from the rumor mill that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will come in a new Rose Gold color option.
As for lower-tiered models, there were some reports that Apple was planning to release an iPhone 6c device, a smaller and more affordable 4-inch iPhone. However, more recent reports suggest that those plans may have since been scrapped. More than likely, Apple realized that if higher-margined iPhone sales are doing well, why even bother releasing a less-profitable device to the market?
Now, one of the more exciting iPhone 6s features, and perhaps one of the device's key selling points, will be a completely overhauled camera. Indeed, Apple, without fail, has been able to really improve the iPhone's camera quality with each successive release. The iPhone 6s will be no different. First off, we're going to see a notable megapixel increase, jumping from the 8-megapixel camera Apple used on the iPhone 6 to a 12-megapixel camera on the 6s. What's more, previous reports have indicated that the iPhone 6s will be able to record video in full 4K quality.
As for some other features, we can finally say goodbye to bendgate, the overblown scandal that accompanied the iPhone 6 release last year. Even though Apple barely received any reports of bent devices, they nonetheless decided to construct the iPhone 6s out of 7000-series aluminum, resulting in a stronger and much sturdier build than previous models.
Lastly, expect the new iPhones to retain the same 16GB/64GB/128GB tiered structure.
Come next Wednesday, new iPhones won't be the only thing on Apple's agenda. Indeed, it's widely believed that Apple will finally unveil a completely revamped Apple TV.
Long considered a hobby, it appears that the Apple TV is poised to become a full-fledged member of Apple's product lineup.
Here's what we know so far.
The new Apple TV will undoubtedly mark the biggest upgrade Apple's beloved hockey puck has seen to date. The upgrade will introduce an A8 processor and will reportedly come with a new touch-enabled remote control with support for Siri.
More interesting than that, the Apple TV may come with a full-fledged App Store of its own. If this bears out, the Apple TV could quickly become the one living room set top box that everyone has to have. Imagine being able to access all of the Apple TV's current channels while also being able to use the device as a modern and fully capable gaming console with, and this is a big maybe, Microsoft Kinect functionality. Recall, Apple in late 2013 acquired PrimeSense, an Israeli-based company whose technology was used on the first version of Microsoft Kinect.
Also of note, and said to be the "cornerstone" of the new Apple TV, is something Apple is calling Universal Search.
"Sources familiar with Apple's plans say that a cornerstone of the the company's new set-top box is a universal search feature that will enable searches across multiple streaming video services as well as Apple's iTunes Store. Instead of searching the catalogs of multiple video services one-at-a-time for a particular movie, you'll now be able to search all — or most of them — at once and then choose the service on which you'd like to watch it. You'll also be able to search for actors and directors, and run other more targeted searches as well — all with Siri."
This should be an extremely intriguing feature, especially now that the market is already so saturated with so many different content providers, from Netflix and HBO Go to Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Now, the one thing the Apple TV rollout won't support at first will be Apple's rumored TV subscription service. Apple, if you recall, is hoping to offer a somewhat sparse collection of 25 channels for about $40/month. The latest reports on that initiative, however, reveal that Apple is running into some resistance from content providers that are keen on a higher monthly price point.
All told, next week's Apple event, per usual, should be a doozy.
There are also rumblings that Apple next week will take some time to introduce a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro alongside a new iPad Mini 4. Without question, this is poised to be Apple's biggest event of the year.