iPhone 6S or 7: What to expect from the new Apple handset including rumours, release date and features

What will replace the iPhone 6?
Apple has a new phone due out and, as ever, rumours abound about what it will be like. Here’s what we (might) have to look forward to...

Better Camera

The smartphone space-race always promises thinner, lighter and faster. That, and a better camera. Apple’s iPhone already takes stunning pictures, although this is largely down to some very clever software – this time rumour has it the hardware will get an upgrade, from 8mp to 12mp. Now your selfies will be even better quality. This rumour seems pretty solid and would bring the iPhone closer into line with top-end rivals from the likes of Samsung and HTC.

Force touch

This has already been introduced on the latest Macbooks and the Apple Watch, and it’s quite possible that it will now wing its way onto the iPhone. The technology allows the device to distinguish between somebody tapping the screen and pressing down on it. It’s a neat way of giving you more ways to interact with the phone without adding any more buttons or cluttering up the user interface.

Battery life

Battery life is a perennial concern in the development of smartphones, and though Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus made notable gains on the 5 and 5S, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Eagle-eyed observers noted the company posting adverts for battery engineers, but it’s hard to read anything conclusive into this. Possibly more revealing is an interview that Jony Ive recently gave in which he hinted that Apple doesn’t see battery life as important enough to warrant concessions in other areas such as weight, or screen resolution.


Apple Pay could be set for an overhaul (Source: Getty)

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is already proving popular with Apple Watch users – four out of five wearers are reportedly using it – and the company obviously sees this as a huge potential growth area. If it’s to realise its life-changing potential, major improvements are needed for Touch ID, with fewer reader errors an essential component of any future iPhone. Patents filed by the company suggest we’re headed for a Touch ID that’s built into the display, though there’s no telling if this will be in near or distant future.

Rose gold

Sometimes gold just isn’t enough. After all, everybody has gold these days. What Apple (possibly) thinks you want now is rose gold – a redder shade of gold to make you stand out from all the regular gold losers. Those guys going to feel bad when they see your pink-tinged device. There might be a sort of wine coloured one, too, if you believe everything you read on the internet.

What’s in a name?

Amid fevered discussions about what the new iPhone will be called – 6S? 7? Velocimax? Paul? Sand? – one thing seems certain: there will, at some point, be an iPhone 6C. Originally thought to be heading our way in 2016, a rumour recently surfaced that it’s going to be unveiled at the coming September event. When it does arrive, expect something as colourful as a 5C and as big as a 6.

AppleWind

Perhaps the most outlandish new addition to the iPhone is what we’re dubbing AppleWind: when the iPhone detects a rapid change in speed, it will force a blast of air out of the hole closest to the ground (usually the headphone socket but sometimes the tiny speaker holes). This will cushion the phone’s fall, stopping it from ever breaking (okay, we made this one up).

Release date

If Apple sticks to tradition, it should introduce its new iPhone to the world in the second week of September. At the moment, 9 September is the favoured date but, as the developer rarely holds events on Wednesdays, the eighth is a hot favourite, too. As for when you can get your hands on it, that’s looking more like 18 September, which puts the UK in the “first wave” of retail launches along with the US, Germany and Japan.

Design

Assuming this is going to be an “S” update – and all signs suggest that it is – then you can bet on the shape being pretty much identical to the 6 and 6 Plus. Design-wise, the only thing that separated the 5S from the 5 was some snazzy new colours – the same might be in store for the next iPhone. Invisible changes may include the incorporation of sapphire glass and stronger liquid-metals – Apple is reportedly experimenting with both – which could make for a stronger, lighter phone.

The geeky bits

If you’re interested in what’s going on under the hood, rumour has it Apple may boost the phone’s RAM from 1GB to 2GB, the first such increase in three years. Other “leaks” point to a new A9 chip that could make the new phone 57 per cent quicker than the iPhone 6 Plus. The amount of storage is likely to remain the same. Other changes could include an “Apple SIM”, a standard type of non-removable SIM that can jump from carrier to carrier – no more searching for paper clips.

The bends

Everyone remembers where they were when they heard about Bendgate. Okay, so that may be over-egging it, but still, it was pretty shocking when the first videos emerged of humans snapping box-fresh iPhone 6 Pluses in their bare hands. Such wanton acts of vandalism will no longer possible with the 6S or 7 (or whatever they end up calling it): rumour has it the company is reinforcing the phone with thicker metal around the volume buttons. An answer to a non-problem, perhaps, but Apple is keen to avoid Bendgate-style panics, bogus or otherwise.

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