iPhone 6s rumors: An even BIGGER Apple phablet, with release date in 13 days

Taller! Fatter! Wider! (But possibly not quite as big as Martin Cooper's baby.)

Apple iPhone 6s bigger rumors
Credit: Rico Shen (cc:by-sa)

Oh noes: The Apple iPhone 6s will be bigger than today's iPhone. Confirming previous mutterings, photographs from China show an iPhablet that's taller, fatter and wider than before.

But not by much. The thought is Apple's making the case stronger, to prevent another rash of bendgate headlines, and making room for Force Touch hardware.

But Apple isn't making room for a bigger battery. On the contrary, it seems the new cells in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will actually hold less charge than the previous models. That sounds like a terrible idea.

And, as usual in early September, our thoughts turn to the release date for the new shinies. But commentators are saying it might not sell well. And others are saying it'll break records. So that's clear, then.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Not to mention: "The best thing to come out of Alabama"...

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[Developing story: Updated 6:11 am, 6:34 am, 7:59 am, 12:57 pm and 1:45 pm PT with more comment]

Here's Eric Slivka with this oh-so astounding revelation:

For months, rumors have indicated the upcoming "iPhone 6s" may be...larger than its predecessor, likely due to...a change in the aluminum being used for the shell, thickening of weak spots [to] address concerns over bending, and new support for Force Touch.

[I've] received several photos showing an iPhone 6s [showing] full measurements of the device. [They] show the iPhone 6s measuring 7.08 mm thick compared to Apple's official measurement of 6.9 mm on the iPhone 6. ... The new photos also reveal slight increases for the height and width...138.19 mm tall and 67.68 mm wide, compared to 138.1 mm and 67.0 mm.

On a percentage basis, the thickness would see the biggest increase [which] could be enough to prevent some tight-fitting iPhone 6 cases from fitting the 6s, but many cases should have enough wiggle room.  MORE

And Matt Hanson describes fatt handsets: [You're fired -Ed.]

As size increases go [it] isn't the most ground (or pocket) breaking leap, but it does make us wonder what other tech Apple could be making room for.

Individually the increases in size might not seem like much, but...if you're already struggling to fit an iPhone 6 into your pocket, you're going to have even more trouble with the iPhone 6S.  MORE

But Ben Lovejoy is overjoyed to read yet another rumor:

A report from the usually-reliable KGI [says] the front camera will be upgraded to 5MP [and] the rear camera lens may not be sapphire, as it...failed drop tests. ... It is more brittle, and thus at greater risk of shattering when dropped.

[KGI] also repeated its concerns [about] flat or negative sales growth. [But] KGI’s pessimism...contrasted with data from Kantar, which suggested “ample opportunity for iPhone upgrades” this year and next.  MORE

It would be worrying if KGI was correct, as Adam Satariano and Alex Tribou explain:

For all the attention Apple has received this year for its new smartwatch...music service...updated TV device and building a car, the company is increasingly dependent on the iPhone.

Since the handset was introduced in 2007, the company has never collected as large a percentage of its revenue from one product as it's doing now. The device has become critical to Apple, as almost two-thirds of the company's revenue comes from iPhone sales.

Along with the iPhone, the company is expected to introduce at the event an update to Apple TV [and a] bigger-screen iPad. ... Apple declined to comment.

[But] the iPhone shows no signs of losing its position as Apple's most lucrative product. If anything, its importance is increasing as sales of the iPad decline and while Apple Watch is still a...niche product. [So it] raises the stakes for Cook to keep the company's marquee handset a top seller. [NASDAQ:AAPL] declined 16 percent since July 21, when the company reported iPhone shipments and issued a sales forecast that missed analysts' projections.  MORE

Meanwhile, a frustrated Gordon Kelly has been reading different Chinese rumor runes, and has more bad news for iFanbois:

Both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will have reduced battery capacities...5.3% for the iPhone 6S and 5.5% for the iPhone 6S Plus to be exact [but] battery life is already one of the worst features of the iPhone 6.

Worst...Apple will maintain the same storage tiers as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. ... 4K video...could fill...a 16GB iPhone 6S...in about 25 minutes. ... ut I’m sure Apple will be happy to sell you more iCloud storage.

[However] Apple actually designs iPhones based on typical two year upgrade cycles. ... The step up from...5S...to an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus will be tremendous with massive performance and camera improvements. ... But, despite this logic, a part of me is still frustrated.  MORE

Update: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wonders if it really matters:

It all depends on how you look at things. If you took these batteries and popped them inside the existing...handsets, the batteries would deliver 42 [to] 72 minutes [less] talk time [or] half a day [to] almost a day off the standby times.  
Quite a drop. [But] Apple's not fitting these batteries into the existing handsets...rather into new handsets that are likely to feature more power-efficient components. [And it] claims iOS 9 has better power management.

Product design is always a compromise. ... If it can be done without the end user noticing, so much the better.  MORE

Update 2: Ewan Spence sees danger ahead:

Can Apple’s iPhone empire continue growing? ... Or have we passed peak iPhone and it is all downhill from here?

I would assume that the cast majority of iPhone 5S users are ready to upgrade. ... Markets that still have room to grow are key territories [so] BRIC countries will receive a lot of attention. ... China is approaching the tipping point of growth vs churn. ... Other countries still in the explosive growth stage require a different approach.

No matter the huge retail numbers for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, there is a larger market [for] the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. ... The potential for the iPhone is greater now than it has ever been.  MORE

Update 3: Jacob Kastrenakes rounds up the remaining rumors:

The biggest new feature...is expected to be pressure sensitivity. ... Force Touch was first introduced on the Apple Watch earlier this year, allowing the Watch's display to detect when pressure is being applied to it. It'll likely work much in the same way on the iPhone. [It] could be used to pull up new menus or perform specific actions. ... More than likely, we'll have to wait for developers to figure out the most interesting uses.

Apple will also be giving these iPhones the usual spec bumps. [A] new, faster processor...a jump up to 2GB of RAM — finally...a 12-megapixel rear camera...able to shoot 4K video. 

So how will you let everyone know that you have the latest iPhone? ... Apple is said to start offering the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in rose gold. 

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S should each remain on sale, both having their prices cut by $100. ... The iPhone 5C will vanish.  MORE

Update 4: We want more rumors! And when's the release date? Justin Rubio is just in time:

The new phones will support animated wallpapers, such as those found...for quite some time now, Android phones. Other announcements...including an upgraded processor and added Siri functionality.

The new iPhones should be available for pre-order about a week after they're announced, with another week before they start shipping. [And] a definitive launch date for [iOS 9] is expected to be announced during next week's event

With the introduction of the iPhone 5S...the plastic-backed iPhone 5C became the free (on-contract) model in Apple's lineup. This year, you can expect the 6 to hit the $100 range. ... Apple may choose to ditch its 5-series altogether and introduce an iPhone 6C or something similar [but] it seems less likely.  MORE

Update 5: Theo Priestley holes it in one:

We’ve had enough leaks about the specs of the iPhone 6S to spoil what product announcement Tim Cook will make. ... But what is being overlooked is just the sheer weight of users likely to adopt the 6S as their next phone. ... There is some 120-200 million users ready to upgrade. ... Add in the enterprise push thanks to the new partnerships with IBM and Cisco and this could go even further.

[But] with all the technological advances that Apple makes, including with iOS 9, some of the art of simplicity has been lost. ... I do wonder whether Tim Cook’s new bedfellows at IBM and Cisco are taking centre stage over the original market that made the iPhone such a success in the first place: a consumer phone of choice.  MORE

And Finally...
Alabama-style white BBQ sauce -- and how to make it
It's "Addictively delicious," says Chef John

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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