Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) unveiled the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus today at a special event in San Francisco, showing off new devices that at first glance may look no different than their predecessors but boast several internal tweaks.
The company introduced new gestures through "3D Touch," allowing the devices to distinguish between a quick tap and a long press, opening up a new way to give commands. The new gestures can work on the home screen by giving users short cuts to the things they do most often. An on-stage demo showed that a "little bit of pressure" allows users to get a preview of an email, then return to the inbox. The new devices also have a faster 64-bit A9 processor and a sharper camera.
Customers can pre-order the new iPhones starting this Saturday, and the devices will ship starting Sept. 25. With a contract, the iPhone 6s will start at $199 for 16 GB; $299 for 64 GB and $399 for 128 GB. The iPhone 6s Plus starts at $299 for 16 GB, $399 for 64 GB and $499 for 128 GB. The new pricing moves the iPhone 5s as a free device with a contract, and the iPhone 6 will start at $99. Apple also introduced an iPhone upgrade program that allows customers to pay Apple $32 a month until a new phone is released and you return your old device. The monthly payment for the iPhone 6s is $37 a month.
In the phone's messages, a flight number can lead to more information about flight times. Without having to go to Safari, a website link in messages can also provide a preview of that site.
While the phones will keep their existing sizes, the company also introduced a new kind of "strongest" glass on the screen. The new iPhones are available in four colors, with a new rose gold aluminum finish, silver, gold and space gray.
The new iPhones have a 12-megapixel iSight camera, 50 percent more pixels than before, with the ability to take larger panorama photos and, for the first time, 4K HD video. Apple vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller claims iPhone users can take video with better resolution. There is also a new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera for more detailed photos. The flash on the camera offers TrueTone lighting, which matches the light with the ambient lighting.
Using 3D Touch, Schiller introduced "Live Photos," allowing details in the photos to move, such as a moving waterfall with the sound of rushing water. Press on any photo and get a short video, because the camera records 1.5 seconds of video before and after the picture is taken. A new icon on the camera status bar makes it easy to take Live Photos, just as you take traditional photos, he said.
The phones have new charging docks that match the finish on the devices, which are listed for $49. Leather cases are priced at $45 for the iPhone 6s and $49 for the iPhone 6s Plus.
Apple said it sold 47.5 million iPhones in its third quarter of this year, a record for that period from April through June, the company announced in July.