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iPhone 6s and iPad mini 4: What we know ahead of September launch

By Shawn Knight
Aug 10, 2015
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  1. With Apple’s next wave of mobile products expected to arrive beginning next month, we’ve waded through the sea of rumors and leaks to highlight the most credible and likely of the bunch.

    Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see a pair of new iPhones arrive in September. The new handsets are expected to look virtually identical to Apple’s current generation although a closer look at purported leaked components offers a bit more insight.

    In this video from MacManiack published earlier today, we see what is believed to be the front frame of the iPhone 6s. Of particular interest is an access panel that gives credibility to earlier rumors that the new phones will feature the same Force Touch technology found on the Apple Watch. A different flex connector points to an improved Touch ID sensor and what appears to be a slightly larger cutout for the front camera indicates a higher-quality selfie shooter is in the works.

    Earlier rumors and precedent suggests Apple will outfit its new “s” model iPhones with its A9 processor alongside 2GB of RAM. The rear camera is also expected to get a resolution bump from eight megapixels up to 12-megapixels. Apple has traditionally steered clear of the megapixel race although it has likely squeezed out just about everything it can from the current sensor.

    The new camera may or may not be the DSLR-killer that we’ve heard so much about this year but it’ll likely introduce 4K video recording and improve on the 240 frames per second slow-motion feature found it its current implementation. Adding 4K would be a welcomed addition for the iPhone as many other rivals already offer the option and have for quite some time.

    I mentioned that the new iPhones will be virtually identical to current iterations but that may only partially be true.

    It’s entirely possible that Apple may introduce a brand new color for its next iPhone – rose gold – to match that of the Apple Watch Edition. It would join the existing space gray, silver and gold color schemes.

    Apple’s new smartphones may also adopt the 7000 series aluminum used to construct the Apple Watch Sport. This type of aluminum, used in competition bicycles, is 60 percent stronger than most aluminum without adding any additional weight. This along with an internal design revision would like eliminate the Bendgate controversy that made the rounds following the launch of last year’s iPhone 6 Plus.

    Speaking of Apple’s phablet, scuttlebutt suggests at least some variants could ship with sapphire glass screens. The original iPhone 6 Plus was supposed to use the hardened material but those plans were derailed when it became evident that supplier GT Advanced Technologies couldn’t hold up their end of the production deal.

    When word got out that Apple would launch a 128GB iPhone last year, many believed the new storage lineup would consist of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options. Instead, Apple ditched the 32GB model and currently offers options of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. Most believe Apple will stick with the same 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities offered today although some think Apple will swap the 16GB for the 32GB as it should have done last fall.

    A cooling tablet market has led to some tough times for the iPad. Apple is well aware of this fact and thus, may bundle its next iPad announcement in with the iPhone media event in September. Traditionally, Apple has hosted a separate media gathering for its new iPads.

    Last year’s iPad Air 2 saw marginal improvements over its predecessor; the third-generation iPad mini, however, was a total joke which led some to wonder if Apple would be discontinuing the line in the near future. That doesn’t appear to be the case as the latest rumors claim the fourth-generation iPad mini could be the slimmest yet.

    Purported computer-aided draft (CAD) images of the iPad mini 4 claim it will measure just 6.1mm thick, far slimmer than the 7.5mm of the third-generation unit. Footprint aside, the new iPad mini is forecasted to include a faster A8 processor, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear iSight camera like the one found on the current iPhones.

    The bigger news around the iPad continues to be the larger variant, something I call the iPad Plus. Expected to compete with Microsoft’s Surface line, the iPad Plus is rumored to have a 12-inch display that’ll be marketed to enterprise users.

    Back in May, it was rumored that Apple was sampling silver nanowire material from multiple display suppliers. This material is more flexible than traditional touch panels and could allow Apple to more easily integrate its Force Touch technology into a tablet.

    The use of a stylus may not be out of the realm of possibility for the iPad Plus given its penchant for productivity. Also on the docket is true multitasking, something that’s been sorely missed on Apple tablets. The company is said to be working on 1/2, 1/3 and 2/3 views depending on the app being used. The split screen technology will offer multiple views of different apps or of the same app.

    Rumblings on the larger-screen iPad have been mum as of late with the last we’ve heard suggesting it may not arrive until sometime next year.

    The iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and smaller iPads are all expected to be announced at a media event in early September, perhaps on September 9 which is the same day as last year’s iPhone event.

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    What can we expect? Incremental improvements sold as revolutionary and long lines followed by empty checking accounts.

    Aside from the cynicism, Apple does so little new with each generation nowadays that's it's hard to get excited for any of it.
     
  3. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 251   +73

    That's because they are waiting for companies like Samsung to give them faster drives/memory, et al. Apple brings their software to the table, but what else that can be patented? Design, really?
     
  4. theruck

    theruck TS Booster Posts: 104   +20

    do you know any other company which does more than Apple from the innovation perspective?
     
  5. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 251   +73

    What have Apple done lately? Nearly all the components come from some other company, even from their foe Samsung. I'm not saying these iterative progression of lumping others' technologies into a mobile phone innovation. But let's get past the commodities like mobile phone, laptop, desktop, ipods, and what innovation do you see? Round corners???? Nothing to see here, everybody move along.
     
    SikSlayer likes this.
  6. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 831   +54

    Well there was a watch they released last year. And there will be the release of ios9 durung the event. Meant to be a release focused on improving performance for all devices compared to previous iterations.
     
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,519   +2,061

    I find that with all tech today. Improvements are so incremental these days that they're hardly noticeable but when you look at some of the tech today and you compare it to the same tech from about 3-4 years ago, it's astonishing. A good example is your current phone, compare it your first smartphone that you owned and probably thought was the bees knees just a few years back.

    I'm not exactly what you'd call an iFan but they do make some savvy business decisions and getting 3rd parties to manufacture their components to their specification is one of them.

    Lol. They have a certain 'mystique' about them, or so some articles here will have you believe but I'm a skeptic, I'm not buying that BS. When all is said and done, there's nothing special about them or their products, they're just another tech giant who likes to run roughshod over their competition.
    What they are peerless at is all their smoke and mirrors mumbo jumbo they throw in our faces.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2015
    OneSpeed likes this.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    Don't confuse innovation with marketing. Apple has been far better at the latter recently. The 6 sold well because it was bigger. A 5 inch screen in 2014 is not innovation. Perhaps their 6S innovation will be wireless charging, while their next iOS innovation will be widgets.

    I don't expect Apple to have a mind-blowing revolutionary product every year, but we all get sick of being told they do. Read the story above again... all sorts of 'rumors' and 'rumblings' about stuff that's already standard boring features on other devices. 32GB storage standard is specifically mentioned as something they probably won't do. Apple is going to make a phone with a higher MP camera, but keep the storage at 16GB. That means fewer pics kept on your phone, which means you have to buy cloud storage from them. Not only does that not upset Apple customers, they'll actually talk about how great their new expensive phone is without realizing (or caring) that they're getting manipulated into buying storage ONLY from Apple.

    By comparison LG puts 32 GB standard in their phone with a top of the line camera, includes an SD slot AND gave out a 128MB card as a rebate for buying their phone. That's the sort of 'innovation' that makes me happy. :) Think Apple would ever do that?
     
    Uvindu and OneSpeed like this.
  9. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 251   +73

    Pebble beat them to it, aside from all the others. BTW, these watches are total crap. Improving an innovation (that has been copied from others), really isn't innovation...I mean c'mon.
     
    Uvindu likes this.
  10. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

    Had you actually read the ENTIRE article, you'd have noticed that the 32GB was scrapped for the 16gb yes... but they DO have 64gb and 128gb - which is NOT standard in your precious LG....

    Apple may not be as innovative as they have before - why should they be? They're at the top of the heap... everyone's buying their stuff in droves...

    As for all those other companies? Are they innovating? Samsung are the masters of taking someone else's idea and making a few small changes and selling it as their own - Remember the Samsung "Blade" - which suspiciously came to market after the Motorola Razr?
    Edit: Let's not forget Sanyo, who put out the "Katana" at around the same time as Samsung's "Blade" :)

    And I'd like you to look at virtually EVERY SINGLE SMARTPHONE... kind of look the same don't they? Like a... *gasp*... iPhone!!!
     
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 831   +54

    You asked what they had done lately. They brought out a watch and there's a new version of the OS coming out. Didn't realise that the only valid answers were innovations. No company can lead the pack at all times and the public can only be sold what they need. I'm sure there's a few prototype models of things you don't even think about but until there's a need for them, they won't come to market. Be realistic. In the meantime apple have updated their phones, their tablets and their OS so they are going to present them at their september event. Don't see the problem really. No one is forcing you to watch it or buy the products.
     
  12. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 251   +73

    Let's all celebrate the mediocrity of releasing a watch, and updates to an OS. Yes... that will do it. Innovation at its best, as that is what Apple is telling you. Do you even know what innovation means? At a minimum; a patent.
     
    Uvindu likes this.
  13. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    Sounds like I touched a nerve :)

    Apple does have 64gb and 128gb versions... and they charge you $100 for each step you upgrade. 32GB standard means no charge. Samsung, LG, HTC... they all give you 32GB in their cheapest available flagship model. Apple still makes you pay if you want more than 16GB. The problem isn't the availability of more storage, it's having to pay through the nose for it. It's 2015, storage is cheap for everyone except iPhone owners.

    I'm not going to look at every single phone... let's keep to the actual competitors to the iPhone. The HTC M9 does not look like an iPhone... it has front speakers. The LG G4, has no buttons anywhere but the back and it's slightly curved. It looks very different from an iPhone. The Sony Xperia and Samsung S6 (NOT the edge) do look like iPhone. Sony isn't really a competitor (they have basically no market share), which leaves only the S6 as a major phone that looks like an iPhone.
    So that's one. And what does it matter? Are people buying an iPhone for the looks? Because if they're not, then what does it matter that someone copies the looks? Is that round front button some huge innovation that gives you some sort of competitive advantage?

    The only reason the iPhone 6 sold well was because they 'copied' Android phones and finally made decent sized phone.

    I don't want to get into a 'who copied who' argument. Using the ideas of your predecessors is what keeps moving products forward. You've heard the line 'Good artists create, great artists steal' ? Google it... you'll see one of the famous people credited with saying it was Steve Jobs.
     
    Uvindu likes this.
  14. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 831   +54

    Who's celebrating anything. How dare Apple advertise their latest product line. No one else does that. Arseholes.
     
  15. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

    OMG... I'm not talking about the difference of speaker placement or curvature... EVERY SINGLE SMARTPHONE looks just about the same - that is, a monolith with a few buttons, dominated by a touchscreen.... yes, they vary a bit in size, etc... but the first smartphone to "make it big" was the iPhone, and all others were quick to copy...

    And "standard" storage aside, paying $100 for 48gb of storage isn't so bad (16 to 64) or another $100 for 64gb (64 to 128).... I don't see any other smartphone giving me that option without an addon card...

    Yes, iPhones are pricier - and people gladly pay the difference :)
     
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    So you want to ignore all the stuff that's different between iPhones and other phones, and just talk about the overall generalization of 'touch screen phone' and say that everyone copied Apple? You're right... if we ignore the differences and only look at the similarities, then yes, everyone copied Apple. Sort of a silly way to make a point though, isn't it?

    If you think $100 for 48GB is reasonable then I can't argue with you. I can point out that a 64 GB SD Card on Amazon is $28 (http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Mobile-MicroSDXC-Memory-Adapter/dp/B0081EAK34) but if you're happy paying Apple's prices, by all means, keep doing it. Until people stop doing they're going to keep overcharging you.
    To be fair, Samsung overcharges for their additional internal storage too, but because they give you 32GB to start, people don't feel as forced to pay for the upgrade.
     
  17. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 867   +277

    I'm not ignoring it... I'm asking you to think about what an actual smartphone is.... and clearly, they're all pretty much the same - a telephone that can play games, surf the net, text, email, camera, music, etc - and are basically all copied from the iPhone!!

    We're talking about innovation here - changing parts of an existing product is NOT innovating...

    So unless someone adds some sort of functionality to a smartphone (like DSLR photo quality maybe?), they aren't innovating, they're simply tweaking...

    And an SD card does not compare to built-in storage... if you want the same speed as the built in storage, you'd need crazy expensive SD Cards - which most of those smartphones don't support anyways.
     

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