Time’s a-ticking, and we’re getting closer and closer to what is almost certainly the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, though not the iPhone 7. The latest leaks, reported by Chinese website Daliulian, say that the new models to be revealed on September 9 will be available in a metallic pink finish for the first time. Reese Witherspoon’s character from Legally Blond ought to be thrilled.
Whether others will be so thrilled with the new color option, and the new devices themselves, is a point of surprising importance as Apple’s stock price took an uncharacteristic nosedive on news that the Chinese smartphone market – second-largest in the world - dropped substantially in the second quarter.
This could mean, as many experts have theorized in the wake of the news, that China has hit a saturation point, with the flow of new smartphone buyers having largely dried up. Still, Apple’s own sales are still strong in China, so reports of the company’s demise may well be greatly exaggerated.
Tips received by the folks over at 9to5Mac indicate that the A9 system-on-a-chip said to power the new iPhone models will be a substantial improvement over the A8s in the current-gen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. An “unsubstantiated” Geekbench score appears to show a 69% jump in multi-core performance over the A8, suggesting that the A9 could be a triple- or even quad-core system.
It may use something like the big.LITTLE architecture developed by Qualcomm to provide both performance and battery life – broadly, the idea is to build an SoC in which half the cores are built for efficiency, letting users accomplish low-overhead tasks without burning up too much battery, while the other half are powerful enough to provide high performance for more intensive demands.
Mini, maybe? Or maybe not
Rumors about a return to the four-inch form factor for Apple have been flying around ever since the bigger 6-series iPhones came out, but The Week says that the current outlook isn’t so good for a full-featured smaller iPhone anytime this year.
Instead, according to the report, we’re more likely to get an updated version of the iPhone 5C, which trades top-end specs for cheaper construction and a consequently lower price point. It seems strange – surely at least one company could build a flagship-specced mini-phone for the single-handed users of the world, but it’s apparently been decided that cutting-edge tech is reserved only for bigger handsets.
iPad Pro, bro? No?
MacRumors pours cold water on the idea that we’re going to get a new version of the iPad along with our new iPhones in September, based largely on an apparent sighting of a device fitting the description of the iPad Pro running iOS 9.1 by an analytics company. That implies that the iPad Pro will run iOS 9.1 at launch, and since that software isn’t due out until later in the year, it’s unlikely that the September 9 event will see the new device.
That’s a perfectly fair deduction, although it’s a little redundant, given that Apple generally hasn’t released iPads at the same events as new iPhone models to begin with. The iPad Pro being the “one more thing” would be quite the surprise.