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iPhone 6S release date rumours & new features: Design tweaks could make next iPhone thicker but get rid of antenna lines

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus arrived back in September 2014, so it's no surprise that Apple watchers are looking ahead and wondering what Apple's smartphone plans for this year might be. Here, we round up all of the rumours about the iPhone 6's successor, dubbed iPhone 6S, including release date rumours, specs and new features.

In this article, we're focusing on the next-generation of iPhone, that is, the 4.7in iPhone 6 that launched in September 2014. If you're looking for rumours about the next generation of Apple's 5.5in iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus, see our iPhone 7 rumour round-up (sure it might be called iPhone 6s Plus but we think that's a bit of a mouthfull!). We've also got information about the rumoured 4in iPhone 6c here.

If you're after information about the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, visit our iPhone 6 review and iPhone 6 Plus review. See also: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus. You can also read our full first look review of the Apple Watch, and our Apple Watch Release Date story, including UK pricing for the Apple Watch.

Also, find out what's in store for the year: Apple predictions 2015

Updated 23 June with rumours about iPhone 6S thickness & improved battery life, as well as a new patent that could see the end of ugly antenna lines. You can read about the most recent rumours below. 

Latest iPhone 6S rumours: Design tweaks
A new patent application published on 18 June has revealed that Apple may have figured out how to finally get rid of the (arguably) ugly antenna lines that run across the top and bottom of the back of the iPhone. Apple has detailed a way to use a new composite metal material that is thin enough for radio frequencies to pass through (which is what those lines do now) but is disguised as the anodised metal that the rest of your iPhone is made of.

Another design-related rumour that emerged mid-June suggest that the iPhone 6S might be slightly thicker than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to make room for the new Force Touch technology rumoured to be coming to the smartphone's display. It's not much of a difference – apparently the next iPhone will be 0.15mm longer and 0.2mm thicker.

Latest iPhone 6S rumours: Better battery life
There's also some speculation to suggest that the thicker iPhone might make way for a better battery that uses the developments deployed in the 12in MacBook to squeeze more power into the smartphone. The battery would be contoured and layered to make the most of the space available and provide more of that much-needed power.  

iPhone 6S rumours: Is Apple skipping iPhone 6S & going straight to iPhone 7?
Reports that recently hit the web claim that the iPhone 6S may never launch, and it was actually the very same analyst who predicted this back in April. Kuo claimed that the iPhone that launches this September might have such significant new features that Apple skips the iPhone 6S and goes straight for the iPhone 7, and his latest report seems to confirm that the new features are indeed significant.

Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities iPhone 6s predictions
In May, trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities has revealed several key features that he has reason to believe will be present in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus when they launch later this year.

According to Kuo, who made these claims during a talk with investors, the iPhone 6S will boast the following (click the links to skip straight ahead to more detail about each rumoured feature or read on for the full story):

Force Touch display: This will be the standout feature of the new iPhone according to Kuo. However, it could mean that demand significantly outweighs supply so expect the iPhone 6S to sell out even faster than usual.

The screen sizes are set to remain the same: 4.7in and 5.5in. There won't be a new iPhone 6C with 4in display this year.

A rose gold iPhone 6S is indeed coming, in addition to the already available gold, silver and space grey.

The iPhone 6S will have a 12Mp camera on the rear and a microphone on the rear for better audio quality in videos.

2GB of RAM is expected in the A9 processor.

A new casing material and internal mechanical design should prevent a repeat of #bendgate.

Touch ID is expected to be significantly improved as Apple Pay becomes more prominent.

Mass production is expected to begin in August, and Kuo expects total shipments to reach 90 million in 2015, with the 4.7in iPhone outselling the 5.5in iPhone 2 to 1.

iPhone 6S release date rumours: When is the iPhone 6S coming out?
The most likely release date for the iPhone 6S is September 2015, which would follow Apple's iPhone release schedule history. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released in September 2014, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in September 2013, the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and the iPhone 4S in October 2011.

To back up that theory, just hours before WWDC 2015 was due to kick off, new reports emerged that suggested the iPhone 6S will be released on 25 September 2015. That's according to Mobile News, which reportedly got sent an email that was sent to internal staff by Vodafone.

The email refers to the iPhone 6S as simply 'New iPhone' but it's unclear whether this means Apple will be dropping the numbering system from its iPhone line-up. Additionally, there was no iPhone 6S Plus mentioned in the email. Read on to find out more.

However, some reports say that Apple will choose to begin releasing new smartphones twice a year, to keep up with the ever growing and improving competition from rivals such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and more.
Another rumour is now suggesting that Apple will launch the new iPhone 6s in August. We think that is unlikely, and the fact that the rumour comes from Chinese publication Economic Daily News doesn’t make it all that credible to us.  

According to Economic Daily News, supply chain sources claim that the iPhone 6s is already being produced and component yields are on track for a launch in August. Given that the launch of a new iPhone would need the launch of iOS 9 suggests to us that even if the phone was ready to ship before September, it wouldn’t until iOS 9 was ready.  
Read: Apple Home Kit release date
iPhone 6S rumours: What new features will the iPhone 6S have?
Rumours about the next generation of iPhones have started to pick up pace now that we've reached April, but we can expect to see them tumbling in daily as 2015 continues. We've collected all of the speculation we've seen so far about the iPhone 6S's specs, features and design below. 

Read: Is it possible to get a free iPad? The truth about free iPad scams

iPhone 6S rumours: Design, rose-gold finish
We're expecting Apple to stick with the 4.7in display for the iPhone 6's successor, as it's a display size that seems to have gone down well with fans so far.

We also don't think that the overall design of the iPhone 6S will be much different to the iPhone 6. Apple tends to keep the same external design for its iPhones for two generations, so expect the same slim, light and rounded design that's sported by the iPhone 6 to be present when the iPhone 6S arrives.

The latest rumours to come from The Wall Street Journal about the design of the iPhone 6S suggest that, in addition to Silver, Gold and Space Grey, you'll also be able to buy a new Pink model. It's not going to be bright pink like the iPhone 5C, but rather a rose gold colour like the colour of one of the Apple Watch Editions. We can imagine the new colour being rather popular.

Martin Hajek has come up with several realistic concept images of what the rose gold iPhone 6S might look look like, as shown below. See more over on his website.
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