Apple iPhone 6s -- it's better, stronger, faster (Tim can rebuild it)

On this day of days, your humble blogwatcher withholds his usual measure of snark

Apple iPhone 6s release date
Apple Inc.

It's the iPhone 6s release date. Apple fans in the US and around the world rejoice at that news (well, so long as they live in one of the other 11 countries blessed with the first wave of 6s and 6s Plus sales).

We now know it's stronger, has a slightly smaller battery, and is relatively easy to repair. It has better cameras, a few new features, and is distracting New-York Catholics from a certain high-profile visitor.

Depending on who you listen to, Apple either has another huge hit on its hands, or is in deep trouble with a mere incremental release. We shall see, eh?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wait in line. Not to mention: Vi Hart hilariously rips the **** out of the "owners" of the Happy Birthday song...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 9:04 am and 2:47 pm PT with more comment]

G'day, Pauline Askin. Good evening, Julia Love:

[Goodnight, John-boy -Ed.]

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores on Friday, with dozens of people - and a robot - queueing in Sydney [Australia].

Analysts expect 12 million to 13 million phones to fly off the shelves in the first weekend. ... Fans from San Francisco to London to Sydney have camped out for days prior to the release, and Apple said...pre-orders...were on pace to beat last year.

After a dramatic redesign last year in which Apple enlarged the iPhone's screen and added mobile payments, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus boast more modest improvements [including] improved cameras and 3D touch. ... The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus [are now available] in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.  MORE

Which allows Eli Blumenthal to take this... uhh... unusual angle:

[Peccávi nimis: Cogitatióne, verbo, ópere et omissióne. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa. -Ed.]

As crowds filled around 58th Street and 5th Avenue, not everyone was awaiting the arrival of the Pope. The also home to Apple's flagship 5th Ave Store.

Lines for Apple's new phones...stretched a half block around the 58th Street store. One security guard...said he expected Apple's line to grow over to 1,000 people by the evening. ... Many of those in line this year were buying the phones to resell...speaking languages other than English, particularly Chinese or Russian.  MORE

However, Adam Satariano simply can't restrain himself from looking at the negatives:

[But today is a magical day -Ed.]

How many iPhones can Apple Inc. sell? ... The latest models...may not match the success of previous releases.

Expectations are tempered partly because the gadget is at the point in [the] cycle that entails less dramatic changes...designated with an “s” tacked on to the number.

Customers around Asia again lined up to be among the first to get their hands on the device. Stores in China -- Apple’s largest market outside the U.S. -- drew faithful buyers. ... Cook has said he expects the world’s second-largest economy to eventually become Apple’s largest market. [But] iPhone sales there may have peaked, after Apple reported...missing analysts’ projections. ... A smooth release is critical for Apple. ... The Apple Watch hasn’t become a mainstream success and iPad sales are in decline.  MORE

Yeah, but does it bend? Rugby-playing New-Zealanders Christian Kornel Oertel and his bezzie-mate "Juno" oblige, cursing as they go:

[Eat your Vegemite, kids -Ed.]

I'm sure you'll remember there was a huge media hype around the BendGate issue...and we actually saw a couple of videos which demonstrated how easily the 6 Plus could be bent by hand. ... So with the release of the new...iPhone 6S Plus, we want to find out...does [it] still bend?

Apple has used a more durable 7000-series aluminium [sic] in the new iPhones, they've also increased the thickness of the iPhone so they're actually 0.2 millimeters thicker. ... Apple has used a new technique in manufacturing the screens...claiming these screens to be the most durable...on the smartphone market.

I'm putting as much pressure as I can. And that's...that's not bending. That's not bending at all...actually Apple have done a Good job at reinforcing this. My fingers are sore. ... You can see a little bit of flex in there, but it seems to have popped back into place.

Aaaaaah ****, Ow! ... That is insane, they've done a really, really good job! ... *****! that is ****ing strong! ... ****, that is so strong [it's] kicking our ****. And we're not lightweights.  WATCH

Eyeroll. Chris Matyszczyk is easy for you to say:

[You're fired -Ed.]

The first thing that any self-respecting person does when they buy a new gadget is try to break it.

Of course, this test is terribly scientific in the meaning of "not terribly scientific at all." But however much he tried [he] didn't manage to create bend.

This question, though, does wander into view: If you've paid a lot of money for a phone, why don't you just look after it? Don't shove it in your back pocket, especially if you have splendid, powerful buttocks.  MORE

Meanwhile, Andrew Optimus Goldberg, Evan Noronha, Sam Lionheart and friends destroy one for our "education":

[Yeah, let's call it that -Ed.]

We trekked all the way to Australia to bring you the first-ever glimpse of the latest iPhone innards.

It seems the iPhone display assembly has toughened up a bit since we last met. It now features four adhesive strips lining the perimeter of the phone. ... The all-new Taptic Engine takes up a large chunk of space below the battery. ... While the FaceTime camera has jumped from 1.2 MP all the way up to 5 MP, its overall form factor remains surprisingly similar. ... It's time to take out the...Taptic Engine. A blast of X-ray radiation reveals a peek at the linear oscillating mechanism. ... The rumors were true—battery capacity is down a 3.8 V, 6.55 Whr, and 1715 mAh. ... Nevertheless, Apple says battery life holds steady at up to 14 hours of 3G talk time and 10 days of standby.  MORE

Update: Guess what? Samsung be trollin' in That London, as Carly Page reports:

Hundreds of fans [are] queuing in London to get their hands on the new Apple smartphone. ... Typically, these crowds were met by the overly-enthusiastic Apple store staff...whooping and cheering every self-conscious-looking customer (and one dog).

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Apple launch without Samsung muscling in. A team of reps from the company paraded outside the Apple Store...adorning flags that said: "The itch to switch just got better." ... We’re not sure what Samsung's aim is here.  MORE

And Matt Dupuy is following events in Glasgow, via Joseph Heenan:

Interesting images have reached us of the ritual surrounding the dispensing of Apple's new iPhone 6S to the faithful of Scotland. [They] clearly show the rigid orthodoxy which has recently been enforced around such events.

The implementation of timed slots to collect pre-bought devices meant that an orderly succession of believers could safely and rapidly be processed to collect their shiny blessing.

Heenan commented that the faithful were “keeping the cheering up for a lot longer than last year.” ... Whether this was spontaneous cheering from the acolytes themselves or the sort of enforced gaiety seen at North Korean mass games was...not clear.  MORE

To which, John Devoy reacts with mirth:

Glasgow buyers don't take kindly to the stupid type of US shenanigans of apple employees running about telling people to cheer and scream. They'd be told to **** off pretty quickly.  MORE

Update 2: Speaking of Samsung... O HAI, Daniel Eran Dilger :

Preliminary testing of Apple's latest A-series mobile Application Processor shows that it brings a big jump in general CPU performance over last year's [and] advances Apple's lead in...over Samsung and Qualcomm. 

Compared to last year's iPhone 6 Plus, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus deliver Geekbench scores that are more than 50 percent faster...over 90 percent faster than Samsung's...premium-priced, limited availability Galaxy S6 Edge [and] over 133 faster [the] Snapdragon 805 used in Motorola's Nexus 6.

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus deliver a tangible performance increase that makes apps launch faster and load and render data faster.  MORE

And Finally...
Happy "Happy Birthday" Day!

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, 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  Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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