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The iPhone 6S: Apple's latest smartphone

The Verge

Apple CEO Tim Cook has unveiled the newest iPhone models, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

From the outside, the latest iPhones look similar to their predecessors. However, they have significant new capabilities. It has a 12-megapixel camera — an upgrade from the 8-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6 — and is capable of taking video in the ultra-high-definition 4k format. It also sports a new, more powerful A9 processor.

Prices for the iPhone 6S start at $649 for a model with 16 GB of storage. You can get 64 GB for $749 and 128 for $849. The larger iPhone 6S Plus models are $100 extra. Of course, many customers will get a big discount by signing a contract with a carrier. Apple is also offering a monthly leasing option. If you pay $32.45 per month, you can lease an entry-level 6S for a year and be eligible to upgrade to the next iPhone model in 2016.

The new phones go on sale for pre-orders on Saturday, and will begin shipping on September 25.

New iPhones feature new colors and upgraded materials

Apple upgrades the iPhone on a two-year cycle. In even-numbered years, the company does a major overhaul of the phone that involves a new design and may include a bigger screen. Then on odd-numbered years, Apple introduces incremental updates — like the iPhone 3GS, 4S, and 5S — that look the same on the outside but have faster chips on the inside and may have a few other new features.

Apple is following that pattern with the latest version of the iPhone. The iPhone 6S looks virtually identical to the iPhone 6, while the iPhone 6S Plus looks very similar to the iPhone 6 Plus.

(The Verge)

One cosmetic change is the addition of a fourth color option. In addition to the silver, gold, and "space grey" options of the iPhone 6, Apple is offering a "rose gold" option.

The new iPhones will also be built out of a lighter, sturdier type of aluminum, reducing the bending problems that afflicted the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6S includes a new "3D Touch" feature

Apple likes to take technologies it develops for one product line and adapt it for other products, and the Apple Watch is no exception. A key innovation of the Apple Watch was the "Force Touch," which lets a forceful push trigger a different action — like choosing a different watch face — than a soft tap would. In March, Apple added a version of Force Touch to Mac laptops.

Now Apple is bringing a similar technology to the iPhone. Known as "3D Touch," it allows users to invoke different functions with a hard press versus a light touch. For example, lightly pressing on an email message brings up a preview, while pushing harder opens the message up full-screen for further interactions.

Watch Tim Cook unveil the iPhone 6S