This Is Apple's New iPhone 6s

Here we are: Apple just announced the ninth version of the iPhone, the thing that every ad will be compelling you to buy for the next year. It's the same 4.7-inch aluminium sliver that makes up the iPhone 6, but with a way better camera, and some touchy-feely tricks.

More: The New iPhone 6s Plus: Everything You Need To Know

This story was originally posted at 4:35AM, Thursday 10th September.


Visually, it's going to be a case of meet-the-new-boss: the 6s will be a hair thicker than its predecessor, but not enough that you can tell the difference with a pair of calipers. Otherwise, it's the same rounded edges, buttons, and 4.7-inch screen that you can find on the iPhone 6.

This Is Apple's New iPhone 6S
This Is Apple's New iPhone 6S

There's going to be one important change to the body, though: a new 7000-series aluminium alloy, the same found in the Apple Watch Sport, will be used. Maybe it's strong enough to withstand violent bending? I'm sure the good YouTubers of the world will investigate fully.

The Ion-X glass covering the screen is also newer and stronger — fewer cracked screens, fingers crossed.

We're also getting a new colour: don't-call-it-pink 'rose gold' joins space grey, white, and gold in the lineup.

3D Touch

Apple introduced 'Force Touch', a pressure-sensitive trackpad that provides haptic feedback, back with the Apple Watch last year. It's now weaseled its way into the 6s, under the guise of '3D Touch'. What does that mean? Well, the touchscreen can now tell how hard you're pressing (it can differentiate between a tap, a standard press, and a deep press), and use that to help you navigate around your phone faster. Push lightly lets you 'peek' at things, deep press causes it to 'pop' out for further touching.

This Is Apple's New iPhone 6S

Examples: deep press on the phone icon to go straight to voicemail. Deep press on a song in Music to get a bunch of different options. Press extra-hard on a location in Maps, and your phone will start turn-by-turn navigation there with no further prompting.

Apple's hammering how this will help you navigate around without loosing your place — rather than having to tap into a email to read it, you can lightly press to peek preview, and then longer press to dive in if needed.

Basically, 3D Touch should let you navigate around your iPhone much quicker. It doesn't add much (if any) new functionality, but in a lot of places, one deep press replaces two or three normal taps.

There's also haptic feedback — the screen has little motors behind it, which buzz in a particular way when you press the screen. It should feel something like clicking a trackpad.

It's worth pointing out that Apple is not the first company to use this kind of technology, in either a laptop, or a smartphone. The technology to make it possible has been around for a while — it's all about combining that with the right software mix to make it useful.

This Is Apple's New iPhone 6S


The iPhone's camera has always been very solid, but this year Apple's looking to do a little better than that. Both new camera modules, on the front and the back, are a real doozy.

The front-facing camera is getting a major upgrade to deal with the rise of the selfie generation. It's now a much larger sensor, capable of taking 1080p video or 5MP stills. The software that controls it is also getting a revamp: you'll now be able to take 'selfie panoramas' (although, just because you can do something, does not mean that you should), slow-motion video, and use the phone's screen as a makeshift flash.

The real magic is happening around the back, though: a new 12-megapixel camera, able to take much better stills, but also capture 4K video. That's not a first for a smartphone — that crown was taken all the way back in 2013 — but here's hoping that integrating 4K video into an iPhone will make the format more popular.

This Is Apple's New iPhone 6S

It's not all about the megapixels, though: using new technology like 'deep-trench isolation', the sensor has been improved to give better colour accuracy, less noise, and superior low-light performance. The long and short: better, prettier pictures.


There's a new A9 processor, with all the kinds of improvements you'd expect — 70 per cent faster at CPU tasks, 90 per cent faster for GPU, according to Apple's scrupulously honest stats guys.

As always, that will allow increasingly graphics-intensive games to run — games which, buy the way, will make use of 3D Touch as another way to play.

The motion co-processor that tracks your activity also gets a shout-out: this time around, it's integrated right into the A9 processor. TouchID is here as well, and 2x faster to boot.

More: iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus: Australian Pricing And Release Date

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    OK, i think Apple is in trouble here. There is NOTHING offered on this new “s” to get the average iPhone 6 owner to upgrade. NOTHING.

    Most normal people will see the 8MP to 12MP camera bump as the ONLY thing better on this phone. And 8-12 is not enough of a reason to spend $1500.00

    HUGE numbers of people upgraded to the iPhone6 (for good reason) but i predict this will be the worst 12 months Apple will have for a long time. Time to sell your shares, i am glad i did at $110USD. Pick them back up mid next year after their first couple of disastrous quarters financials come out. iPhone upgrades are where all there profit comes from.

    I wonder where all the innovation died at apple? Was it really all just Jobs? Bigger iPad (too big for most) Apple TV with apps (really? it has taken them 5 years for that? and no 4K?) iPhone with slightly better camera? Macs with the same spec as years ago (where is all the skylake?)

      The "s" upgrades are always like this. If you have the one before it then you shouldn't upgrade unless your budget allows it and your old one has a good home to go to.

        thats correct. are people not realising this by now? Some people buy the 6 and then upgrade to the 7, others buy the 5s, then get the 6s, then 7s etc. I must know about 15 ppl at least who are on these cycles with their telco providers.

      A lot of people are on 2 year contracts so the move would normally by s-->s or non-s --> non-s anyway

        Exactly, I imagine this is in fact your 'average' owner and that the majority of them aren't getting the $1500 128GB 6s Plus.

      I think you underestimate how Apple buyers work. Working at Telstra now going on 8+ year most Apple purchases buy not because of the features but simply because 1) they can 2) why not 3) because it is Apple.

      What is seen as VERY incremental by the tech audience is still seen and either a significant enough leap or just are good enough reason to rebuy.

        Ex-Telstra here: I just came in to say I'm sorry if you have to work launch day.

          i think you have a few more things to apologise for, having to actually do your job shouldnt be one of them

            Apple launch days are full of abusive, rude customers who don't understand that just because Apple announced a phone, doesn't mean we have it. I've been called some horrible things because I didn't have a phone in stock and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

            I always did my job despite being told to kill myself over a phone and I feel sorry for anyone who has to suffer through that.

              People can be wank jobs, that's what they need to get through life. Let them have it, they'll always be wank jobs.

      Most people are on a two year cycle, so the bread and butter market for this phone is the people currently on a 5.

        I tend to agree with your comments. As well, with Telstra, those who purchased a new iPhone 6 or 6+ (in the first month ?) are on a "new phone" plan. So, when the 6s and 6s+ are released, those customers will receive a new phone.

      Apple have cash reserves of over $200 billion.

      They are a long way from "trouble"

      The thing that is different about this upgrade is that it at least contains some features weren't already available on an Android device 18 months ago. 3D touch, while not game-changing is at least an innovation.

        I agree to some extent, the 3D touch seems quite interesting/innovative...though I have to wonder how different it is to just tap vs long-press that we've been doing for years. And further to that, is it just going to cause confusion/frustration to average user?

      'Most normal people' don't upgrade to every new model, so it's pretty unlikely that apple is 'in trouble'.

      Yet another random criticising the corporate strategy of the largest company on the planet (who make 92% of the revenue of the entire smartphone market, btw) while taking the bus to his job at Hungry Jacks and/or midlevel IT support. Gee, they should have totally got you on the phone before making major decisions, think of how much money they could have made!

      Thanks for shitty unlicensed financial advice though, brah.

      Last edited 10/09/15 10:04 am

        Huh? 92%, geez, have you got a link to the website that had those stats? As far as market share Samsung have always led every year...

          Market share by Units =/= Revenue.

          I'm no fan of Apple, but there's no doubt that they have the lion's share of the revenue (I doubt it's 92% though) and basically all of the profit. Samsung has done very well in shipping huge quantities of low-mid level phones to developing markets, but you've gotta sell 10:1 when they're only going for $100.

          Market share does not equal profit.

          @jjcf is right that Apple take most of the money in the phone game, especially when it comes to profit margins.

          Last edited 10/09/15 11:11 am

            Apple sounds like a very greedy company to me, I've never respected any company/person who knowingly rips off consumers but I guess that's business... At least most of the Android smartphone manufacturers have somewhat of a moral backbone (not saying that don't rip you off either, but they are a lot cheaper than apple), apple however lack one altogether. I guess consumers know this seeing that market share is still very much led by Android.

              How are they 'ripping off consumers'? They have a product, they ask $x for it and consumers can choose whether or not to buy it.

              At least most of the Android smartphone manufacturers have somewhat of a moral backbone

              You are kidding, right? lol.

                Apple rely on their loyal customers who will do anything to own their products, that's how good apple is at marketing. They are taking advantage of that and selling their fairly sub-par hardware at premium prices, they've always done it... With Android devices.. I never said that they weren't ripping people off, but they aren't as bad as Apple, well profits speak for themselves as you've indicated.. Moral backbone comment, probably a little much :P

                I'd understand the price point IF Apple released a really innovative product, but what they released today is an upgraded camera and 3D touch functionality and apparently that justifies the exorbitant price tag... It's kinda like selling a $0.03 phone case for $20, it happens but to me it's just wrong hence I don't have much respect for that company.

          Wall Street Journal good enough?

          Apple Inc. recorded 92% of the total operating income from the world’s eight top smartphone makers in the first quarter, up from 65% a year earlier, estimates Canaccord Genuity managing director Mike Walkley.

          As far as market share Samsung have always led every year...

          Pretty sure Apple aren't chasing the third worlder and broke teen from Mt Druitt demographic.

          Last edited 10/09/15 12:07 pm

            You'd be surprised how many broke teens from Mt Druitt have iPhones.

            Probably not their own though :)

          As far as I am aware, no single Samsung phone has outsold an equivalent Apple phone. Samsung does have the largest share of the market but that is because of the sheer number of different models of phones that it sells. More so, despite that large market share, Samsung is struggling with profits.

      " to get the average iPhone 6 owner to upgrade. NOTHING."
      I might be alone on this site in saying but I think that's a good thing. Upgrading to a new phone each year is just rampant consumerism and it's doing our planet no favours.
      From the previous iteration (5S) it is a massive upgrade but if your phone (and,iOS or win) is working well, save your money and the planet and don't upgrade.

      Stay on the "S" cycle, as they iron out the small flaws on the newer designs (e.g. the aluminium body).

      Stay with Android if you want bugs forever.

    "...deep press causes it to ‘pop’ out for further touching"

      get in there all nice and deep like...

    Lol you got lumps of coal for Christmas didn't you.

    Honestly happy enough with the device, but I think they've dropped the ball by not having always on Siri support (when not plugged in).

    Was also hoping to hear something about Apple Pay in more regions, including Australia, but I gather that wasn't touched on. Was hopeful after some of the articled about six weeks back on the topic, but I guess they'll still be ongoing anyway.

      I think they've dropped the ball by not having always on Siri support (when not plugged in).

      Pretty sure the new devices do have that.

        Thanks. Fantastic news. Couldn't find it listed as a feature on the Apple site and the few articles I've read so far haven't noted it. Should make Siri much more useful for me.

    It's a nice 'S' upgrade.
    But, can someone please inform me what the 'S' stands for? This has been confusing at best when first used with the iPhone 4S.

      Slight upgrade
      or maybe
      Second version

      Officially I don't believe there is an explanation, it's just a branding they've stuck with.

      Unofficially some people like to assign the 's' to one of the key features such as 'speed' (cpu update), 'sensor' (Touch ID) or 'screen' (Force Touch) for the 4s, 5s and 6s respectively. Personally I think that theory is grasping at straws and you could have picked any letter in the alphabet and found a descriptor to one or more features introduced in that model.

    ABC News are reporting it as a "3D iPhone"... ummm, not quite.

    The way they are showing the 3D touch as currently working makes it appear to function much the same as how a long press VS short press functions with existing touch screen tech. Im sure it does a lot more than what they are showing though (like being able to draw a line varying weight depending on pressure). I just think its strange that they are promoting the feature using stuff you can currently already do with a normal touch screen and missed the bigger opportunity to show off what it can really do.

      You can't already do it though? Long touch on iOS gives you the squiggly icons ready for deletion. They've added 2, maybe 3 options.

      I'm curious to see how it can be developed into other things like games.

    Wonder how long it will take til a less tech savvy someone 'deep presses' a crack in their screen

      Aren't they too busy inserting a stylus the wrong way?

        Nah, less tech savvy people go with iPhones over Android because they are easier.

    The S stands for 'same'

      haha its funnny cause its true! pretty much nails it

    i just see incremental updates in the same package for a higher price.
    cant get excited about iphones anymore.

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