As the iPhone 6s release date starts to narrow, so does the focus of smartphone shoppers around the world. And if you have your eyes fixated on the iPhone 6s Plus or the iPhone 6 Plus, here’s what we think you can expect from Apple and its brand new iPhone.
Last year, Apple announced two new iPhone models. One, a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 that we think is the iPhone for most people. The other, a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus that serves as a direct competitor for the Samsung Galaxy Note and a sold alternative for the smaller model. It also comes with some things (1080p display, monster battery Optical Image Stabilization) that the iPhone 6 doesn’t have.
As we’ve pushed deeper into the year, we’ve started to see the iPhone 6 Plus slip a little bit from its perch at $299.99 on-contract. It’s a sign that retailers are starting to believe the iPhone 6s Plus rumors that have been swirling around for several months and counting.
Apple hasn’t confirmed anything but thanks to huge mountain of evidence, it’s pretty clear that the company has at least two new iPhone models on the way. One of them is expected to be dubbed iPhone 6s Plus. We’re in an “S” year and we doubt that it will be called iPhone 6 Plus 2.
If you’re in the hunt for a big screen smartphone and you’re fixated on the iPhone 6 Plus, we recommend waiting a few weeks. The iPhone 6s Plus is rumored to be extremely close and it’s also rumored to have some big changes on board. Nothing is confirmed but today we want to help set your expectations as we move deeper into the year.
If you’re thinking about buying the iPhone 6 Plus or the rumored iPhone 6s Plus, here’s what you can expect from them in the weeks ahead.
iPhone 6s Plus Launch Date
If you’re thinking about buying the iPhone 6 Plus, you should start thinking about waiting for the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple hasn’t confirmed a specific date just yet but credible rumors point to a launch that’s only a few short weeks away.
The iPhone 6s launch date is rumored for September 9th. This is the same day that Apple used for the iPhone 6 Plus launch last year and it fits in perfectly with Apple’s iPhone launch protocol.
Last year, Apple sent out media invites on August 28th so we could find out the exact date next week. Smart bets should be placed on September 9th and we expect Apple to host a live stream so that those not in attendance will be able to tune into all of the action live.
We expect Apple to outline the iPhone 6s Plus features in detail and we expect it to confirm a specific iPhone 6s Plus release date. New iPhones only come once a year so now would be a great time to start waiting.
iPhone 6s Plus Release Date
We don’t have a confirmed iPhone 6s release date but several rumors have pointed to an arrival on September 18th. The date isn’t confirmed but it makes perfect sense when you look back at the iPhone’s recent release history.
The company typically puts the iPhone on sale two days after the event. In this case, you can expect iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders to start September 11th. A release date typically comes the following Friday after an iOS release.
You can expect the iPhone 6s Plus release date to take place on September 18th or September 25th ahead of the end of Apple’s fiscal year. We would expect the United States to be among the first countries to get the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
iPhone 6 Plus Price Cut
Once the iPhone 6s Plus goes on sale, we expect to see the iPhone 6 Plus price drop. If Apple keeps it around, there’s no way it will continue at the $299.99 on-contract price point. Even if the company gets rid of it, we expect to see iPhone 6 Plus deals emerge at retailers across the country as they offload their stock.
We still don’t have a solid read on the iPhone 6s Plus price point but Apple’s stayed pretty consistent and we would be surprised if it strayed from its $299.99 on-contract/$750 off-contract price points for the base model. You can expect the iPhone 6 Plus to be cheaper than the iPhone 6s Plus on release day and in the months and years ahead.
iPhone 6s Plus rumors continue to point to a changing of the guard. Instead of a 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP FaceTime camera, the device is expected to have a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP FaceTime camera.
If this is true, the iPhone 6s Plus will shoot higher resolution photos than the iPhone 6 Plus. Analysts believe that this change will be one of the iPhone 6s’ biggest selling points. Given that Apple’s iPhone camera has remained at 8MP for many years, we’d expect this to be the case.
As for the FaceTime camera, a move to 5MP seems likely. Competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S6 boats excellent front-facing cameras for video chat and selfies. And with iOS 9 set to deliver a new selfie folder in Photos, now is a perfect time for Apple to focus on upgrading the FaceTime camera.
Even if it doesn’t play out like this, you can still expect the iPhone 6s Plus camera to offer upgrades. Apple always modifies its camera and camera software and without a major redesign, the company will likely use these changes to help sell its iPhone “S” model.
Apple, like all smartphone manufacturers, likes to offer performance enhancements that help separate successor from predecessor.
This year, we’ve heard that the company will use a new A9 processor inside the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 6 Plus uses last year’s A8 chip. The A9 is expected to deliver numerous enhancements that help it to deliver superior performance. This change could help it deliver better looking games, better looking apps, and even help the rear camera shoot 4K video.
iPhone 6s Plus rumors also point to the arrival of a new Qualcomm chip for the iPhone 6s. This chip will reportedly help with battery life and help the device deliver faster LTE data speeds. The iPhone 6s Plus is also expected to deliver 2GB of RAM, up from the 1GB found on the iPhone 6 Plus.
So while we don’t have credible benchmarks yet, it’s easy to imagine a high performance iPhone 6s Plus that tops the scores put up by the iPhone 6. Whether or not you need this extra horse power will, of course, be entirely up to you.
Screen Size, Resolution & Force Touch
The iPhone 6s Plus is rumored to have the same screen size and similar screen resolution. Leaks have continually pointed to a 5.5-inch display and we’ve heard that the resolution of the iPhone 6s Retina Display should be the same. That means 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with 401 pixels-per-inch.
If you’re looking for something more from your smartphone display, you might want to have a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. DisplayMate just released a report that lavishes a ton of praise on Samsung and its display panel. The Retina HD display should still be good enough for most people though.
The iPhone 6s Plus display is expected to come with at least one difference though. Rumors and analysts continue to an iPhone 6s Force Touch display. Force Touch is used on the MacBook and Apple Watch but the pressure-sensitive technology isn’t available on the iPhone. At least not yet.
We expect Force Touch to be on the iPhone 6s Plus and that means that we expect iPhone users to be able to use pressure-sensitive gestures to easily clear notifications or use shortcuts within certain applications. The feature might not be one of the device’s biggest selling points but we expect it to be one of the key differences between the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6 Plus.
If you’re hoping for the iPhone 7 Plus with a huge redesign it’s time to temper your expectations. The iPhone 6s Plus will probably look a lot like the iPhone 6 Plus though it’s expected to have some important changes that you might not be able to see at first glance.
The iPhone 6 features Series 6000 aluminum, a common material. The iPhone 6s Plus design is rumored to be made of Series 7000 aluminum. This is typically used in aerospace industry.
The change is evidently a direct response to the Bendgate problems from last year and it means that the iPhone 6s Plus design should be stronger and maybe a little thicker than the iPhone 6 Plus. We wouldn’t expect huge changes to the dimensions though.
If Apple does change the design like we expect it to, this wouldn’t be the first time. Apple changed the iPhone 5s design to better protect it from scratches.
Expect features like speaker placement, Lightning port, volume rocker, and headphone jack to remain the same. You can also expect the iPhone 6s Plus to feature Touch ID.
iPhone 6 Plus Cases to Work with iPhone 6s Plus
We’ve heard from a source that most iPhone 6 Plus cases will work the iPhone 6s Plus despite the change to the device’s dimensions. This is similar to what we saw with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 after the iPhone 5s’ debut back in the fall of 2013.
In addition to cases, you can also expect to be able to use the same iPhone 6 Plus car mounts, chargers and other accessories with the iPhone 6s Plus. So, if accessories are you thing, you can expect a large number of options to be available for both phones.
We expect the iPhone 6s Plus to come to the same carriers that host the iPhone 6 Plus. That means AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. (T-Mobile’s already confirmed plans to release the new iPhone.)
We also expect Apple to release the iPhone 6s Plus on a wide range of smaller regional and pre-paid carriers in the United States. Carriers like C Spire are always in the mix and we don’t expect them to hold back this year.
You can expect the iPhone 6 Plus to get iOS 9 before the iPhone 6s Plus release date. iOS release dates typically take place two days before the arrival of the new iPhone. You can also expect the two versions of the software to be a little bit different.
We expect the iPhone 6s Plus to come with a unique set of iOS 9 features. It could be a feature, or features, that rely on the iPhone 6s Plus’ unique hardware or it could be a feature that Apple simply chooses not to release to older devices like the iPhone 6 Plus. Either way, we would expect there to be some software selling points on the iPhone 6s Plus.
You can also expect the iPhone 6s Plus to get one more year of software support than the iPhone 6. Something to think about if you plan to keep your next phone for the long haul.
iPhone 6 iOS 9 Performance
Shortly after the conclusion of the WWDC 2015 keynote, Apple released an iOS 9 beta for developers. A few weeks after that, the company released a public iOS 9 beta for members of the public Beta Software Program. The public iOS 9 beta is the first major public iOS beta.
Thanks to these iPhone 6 iOS 9 betas, we've learned a whole lot about the iPhone 6 iOS 9 update for the regular model and the iPhone 6 Plus. We've seen new and important features emerge and we've also seen beta testers relay their thoughts about the update's performance.
iOS 9 beta users have been looking at the update's performance on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, even comparing the software to Apple's latest update, iOS 8.4.1. Those links are just two examples. There are tons of iOS 9 beta 5 videos on YouTube.
These videos don't show the final version of iOS 9 but they're still important details nonetheless. One, because iOS 9 beta 5 could be close to the finished version of the software and two, they'll give you an idea about what to expect from the iOS 9 update's features on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
You don't want to go into the iOS 9 release date blind and we highly recommend keeping tabs on the iOS 9 beta so that you're comfortable when the update arrives for your device.