The time has come for the most exciting day of the year for #Apple fans: two new iPhones were announced yesterday, in San Francisco, and will be hitting UK’s shelves on September 25th. Roughly all the rumours that had been circulating for months were confirmed, as Apple unveiled the #iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in front of 7,000 people. This time around, there was no redesign and no size changes – the 6s comes with a 4,7 inches screen and the 6s Plus stands tall at 5,5 inches. You can hardly distinguish them from the predecessors, aside from a new “gold rose” colour option. Because that’s not where Apple placed its bets.
“From the very start, the iPhone has been about bringing innovations that are truly important in people’s daily lives. As a result, iPhone has changed the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook gushed at the event. “While they might look familiar, we have changed everything about these new iPhones,” he added. That’s the tagline Apple is using for the release: “The only thing that’s changed is everything.”
Despite this being the usual Tim-Cook-approach (he said these are the most advanced smartphones in the world, like he has stated in every single launch since taking over), there’s something truly unique in the 6s and 6s Plus. It’s called 3D Touch and gives a new meaning to multi-touch, that Apple pioneered with the original iPhone.
Phil Schiller, vice-president of marketing, delivered the news. “3D Touch is a tremendous breakthrough in interacting with our devices.” Head of design Jony Ive further detailed how it works, saying that “for the first time, iPhone also recognises force.” It introduces the new gestures 'peek' and 'pop, according to how much pressure is applied with the finger. Think of it as a mouse right-click: a set of new, different options cascade down. Peek can be used, for instance, to preview a link someone sent you over text, without actually having to leave the Messages app and fire up the linked website.
“3D Touch is revolutionary and it takes how we interact with are touch-enabled phones and apps within to the next level. It can be the “iPhone moment” for the touchscreen devices," analyst Neil Shah, with Counterpoint Technology, tells Blasting News. He thinks it will improve the user experience, as people will be able to do more without lifting their finger. The novelty is poised to be copied by other brands: the research firm estimates one in five smartphones will support 3D Touch next year.
This was the single most commented feature on the new iPhones, but camera improvements were also showcased. The iSight camera jumps to 12 megapixels and is now able to record 4K video; the front camera ups its game to 5 megapixels and introduces “retina flash”, for all the selfie lovers. Better yet, Apple is introducing “live photos”: the camera will now capture 1.5 seconds each time it takes a photo, so the user can later on apply the 3D Touch and get a moving glimpse of that moment. For instance, a photo taken at the beach will briefly show how the waves were crashing; at the city, how cars were moving; how a child was giggling for the camera. “It’s not video,” Phil Schiller noted. Did Apple just improve the GIF?
On the outside, there’s a noteworthy change: the body is now made of 7000 series aluminum, “the same that is used in the aerospace industry,” probably to prevent a second round of last year’s #bendgate. The chip is 64-bit A9, which Schiller mentioned is 70% faster than its predecessor. Most of these features were expected, which made for a very unsurprising event.
Pricing and availability
Pre-orders start next Saturday, September 12th, and both models will be available in stores two weeks later. The UK online store lists the 16GB 6s at £539, the 64GB model at £619 and the 128GB version at £699. The 6s Plus will set you back £619, £699 or £789, respectively. They will ship with the new iOS 9, which will be available as a free upgrade from September 16th. #Smartphone