With an iPhone 6s launch date all but confirmed for September 9th, we’re likely only a few days out from the iPhone 6s release date. With that in mind, we take a look at a few things U.S. buyers shouldn’t expect from the iPhone 6s release.
For months, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus rumors have teased buyers in the United States. We’ve heard tales about the iPhone 6s specs, the iPhone 6s launch date, and the all-important iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus release date.
While nothing is confirmed, everything appears to be coming to a head. Apple’s scheduled a media event for September 9th and it’s there that we expect to learn more about the iPhone 6s, iOS 9 and the new Apple TV 4.
Now that the iPhone 6s launch date is set in stone, we can set our sights on the other prize: The iPhone 6s release date.
The iPhone 6s release date hasn’t been confirmed but it looks like the United States, and several other countries, could get it on September 18th. This date follows standard iPhone release protocol and it’s the date that prospective iPhone buyers should circle on the calendar.
With an iPhone 6s release date heavily rumored for September 18th, we’re starting to take a look at what we expect, and what we don’t expect, from Apple. Here’s what we don’t expect from the U.S. iPhone 6s release date. Keep these in mind as we push deeper into the month of September.
Major U.S. Carriers Missing
You shouldn’t expect the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to miss any of the major carriers in the United States.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon will stock the new iPhones and they will almost certainly be among the first carriers in the world to get Apple’s new iPhone release. If the iPhone 6s release date is September 18th, expect these carriers to release the iPhone 6s on September 18th.
The iPhone is still a popular smartphone and there’s no way these five carriers will miss out on the initial iPhone 6s release date. If you’re planning to buy on one of these five carriers, plan for an iPhone 6s release in mid-to-late September.
Huge Gap Between iPhone 6s Release Dates
We expect the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to come to other U.S. carriers. Regional and pre-paid U.S. carriers always stock the iPhone and you shouldn’t expect anything less this year.
While we will probably see an iPhone 6s release date delay for these smaller carriers, we don’t expect there to be a huge gap between the initial iPhone 6s release date and the release date for these other service providers.
Last year, C-Spire released the iPhone 6 on September 19th, same day as the major carriers. Other carriers like Bluegrass Cellular released the phone on September 26th.
We don’t expect anything different this year. U.S. iPhone 6s release dates will probably cluster around one another with most coming in the month of September.
Unlocked iPhone 6s from Apple
We don’t expect Apple to start selling the unlocked iPhone 6s on the Apple Store on release day. The company is typically very late to the party and we wouldn’t be surprised if the unlocked iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus hit the Apple Store weeks or even months after the release date.
Apple started stocking the unlocked iPhone 6 in January of this year, months after the phone’s September 19th release date. In 2013, it released the unlocked iPhone 5s on November 22nd.
It’s difficult to predict the exact timing for the unlocked iPhone 6s release on the Apple Store but we wouldn’t count on it arriving in September.
Exclusive iPhone 6s Color
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will reportedly come in four colors: Gray, White, Gold, and Rose Gold. Rose gold is the new flavor though it won’t come in 18K gold like the rose gold Apple Watch.
We wouldn’t expect the rose gold iPhone 6s, or any of the other colors, to be exclusives. This isn’t Samsung we’re talking about here. If the new iPhone comes in four colors, expect to be able to buy the color you want on the carrier of your choosing.
iPhone 6s Pre-Orders
We expect U.S. carriers and retailers to offer iPhone 6s pre-orders but we wouldn’t expect them to be the same.
iPhone 6s pre-orders should kick off on Friday, September 11th. We expect major carriers like AT&T and Verizon to start taking them at Midnight. We also expect Apple to start taking late night/early morning iPhone 6s pre-orders. We wouldn’t expect everyone to take online pre-orders at midnight though.
Retailers like Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart typically start taking pre-orders Friday morning. Last year, some retailers only took iPhone 6 pre-orders in their physical stores. For instance, Best Buy only took Sprint iPhone 6 pre-orders online.
So, don’t expect all iPhone 6s pre-orders to be equal. You’ll need to do your homework once the iPhone 6s pre-sale date and release date are announced.
Every iPhone 6s Option Everywhere
Don’t expect every single version of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to be widely available.
T-Mobile typically keeps its phones in-house. The carrier’s phones aren’t sold at third-party retailers like Best Buy and we don’t expect the T-Mobile iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus releases to be any different. We’d expect them to be limited to T-Mobile locations and Apple.
If you’re looking to buy the U.S. Cellular version of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, expect your options to be limited as well. While U.S. Cellular is the nation’s fifth largest carrier, its phones aren’t sold everywhere and we don’t expect its new iPhones to be widespread either.
AT&T iPhone 6s Contracts at Apple
As a reminder, don’t expect the Apple Store or retailers like Best Buy to sell the AT&T iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus on contract.
Apple stopped selling the AT&T iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on-contract earlier this year and the carrier’s on-contract devices have been phased out of retailers as well as the company shifts its focus to its AT&T Next plans.
If you want the AT&T iPhone 6s on-contract, you’ll need to buy through AT&T. Keep this in mind if you plan to pre-order an AT&T iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
Release Day Lines Everywhere
We expect there to be lines at Apple Stores, carrier stores and retailers on the iPhone 6s release date but we don’t expect lines to be everywhere.
In the past we’ve been able to walk into local malls, even malls with Apple Stores, and find a kiosk that’s selling the new iPhone without any wait times.
If you don’t pre-order and you want an iPhone 6s on release day, scout out some smaller locations in your area. The bigger flagship stores always get the most attention on release day.
Lack of iPhone 6s Accessories
Don’t expect a lack of iPhone 6s accessories on the iPhone 6s release date in the United States. Those of you who are looking to pick up docks, cases or otherwise should find a number of options available upon the device’s release.
For one, this an iPhone. It’s a popular phone and accessory makers go all out for the most popular smartphones. And two, the iPhone 6s design is supposedly going to be similar to the iPhone 6 design so we should see many iPhone 6 accessories work with the iPhone 6s.
Just make sure that that iPhone 6 case fits the iPhone 6s before walking out of a store.
Tons of iPhone 6s Deals
We don’t expect to see U.S. carriers and retailers offer tons of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus deals on the phone’s release date.
We’ll probably see iPhone trade-in offers from carriers but we wouldn’t expect much more than that. Expect them to milk this launch for several weeks.
We’d expect tempting iPhone 6s price cuts to emerge in and around Black Friday in November but we wouldn’t expect anything substantial before then.
iPhone 6s Display Specs
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will likely feature the same screen sizes as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus, but this doesn't mean that the display will be exactly the same.
One major upgrade for both the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6s display that rumors show is on the way is a new way to touch the screen. Force Touch allows a display to detect a harder press and know that you want to do more than a normal tap.
This could work like it does on the Apple Watch. A normal press on the iPhone 6s display could hit a specific button, but a harder press could activate secondary controls or more options. This is not a long press, just a more forceful one. Multiple rumors suggest Force Touch is coming to the new iPhone specs list and there is even a hint in the iOS 9 code.
Other than that upgrade count on the following iPhone 6s display specs;
This is the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. We also do not expect to see a Sapphire screen on the iPhone 6s this year.