At 10am on Wednesday, September 9. Apple will unveil their latest iPhone. Whilst its competitors both succeed (Samsung) and struggle (Sony) to gain market share with their smartphones, for Apple this annual event transcends mere tech conference status - it's a chance to demonstrate to the world that they're even further ahead of the curve than they were twelve months ago.
So it goes without saying that the iPhone 6S is going to be more than just an upgrade on the iPhone 6 - it has to be laced with new features to keep Apple in their place at the head of the pack, and if the rumours doing the rounds are to be believed, it will be. With that in mind, let's take a look at which new features will likely be incorporated into the phone's spec - and which will be held back for the iPhone 7.
The design won't be revolutionary...
In fact, it might not even be evolutionary - reports suggest the design will appear almost entirely unchanged to the naked eye. The shell may be glued, rather than screwed in place, whilst the one notable difference over the iPhone 6 is likely to be the range of colours available; expect it to be available in bronze (mirroring the gorgeous Macbook), black and white at the very least, but also potentially in a range of bolder primary colours which might make the phone even more appealing to young teenagers who understand perfectly how to manipulate their parents into buying them a very expensive early Christmas present.
What about the camera?
Good question. iPhones are renowned for their photographic capabilities, and the 6S looks set to expand on that further still. Expect the new camera to offer 12 MP. Not that those numbers mean anything - Sony offers 21 MP in the Xperia Z3, but zoom in close even on pictures taken in bright daylight and you'll find a lot of noise on your image.
Apple's outgoing 8 megapixel effort is basically one of the best on offer already, but the real headline here is the rumoured addition of a new front-facing camera with 1080p video capture - perfect for creating pin-sharp Vines - with a flash and a panorama mode, just for added wow factor. Hook the videos up with an ultra-HD TV and they'll probably stand up to scrutiny. There's even been whispers that the regular camera will include a second sensor designed to help capture depth of field images, which is basically taking us into pro photography territory. The camera might be the single biggest factor in iPhone 6 customers getting an upgrade this Autumn.
What is "force touch" - and how much will this cost me?
It's what Apple is hoping will have you shelling out hundreds of dollars for the new model. Force Touch differentiates between a light "tap" and a hard "press", theoretically giving you less menu options to navigate because the phone already knows what you're asking for. For instance, tap a contact and you'll be given more options (text, email, phone etc) but press harder and a phone call will be initiated automatically. You may even have the option to customize the action enacted by a hard press.
Although this does sound like an interesting feature and a welcome addition to the spec of the iPhone 6S, it's difficult not to be skeptical about whether the new tech - in as much as we know so far - will really justify the expected price hike of the new model over the outgoing 6. Expect to pay north of $900 for a sim-free 64GB model. Millions of people will happily (or reluctantly) do so, but the truth is you might just be better off waiting it out a year and saving up for the iPhone 7.
So will the iPhone 7 be a revolution?
Just like a supermodel, the iPhone 6S's new year's resolution will be to lose weight - expect the 7 to be outrageously slim. The question of just how thin a phone can be before it feels dissatisfying to hold in the palm is one Apple seem gloriously unconcerned with.
But whilst a clear design evolution would be appreciated, the real revolution has to happen under the skin. 3GB of RAM and an A10 chipset will have the iPhone 7 functioning with the speed a high-end computer, whilst the 16GB storage in the entry model will probably be seen as redundant - if you're capturing 1080p video on the regular, that just won't cut it. Expect the base model to upgrade to 32GB.
But even these spec upgrades don't feel like the future. One leap forward you might want to look out for is cross-functionality with other brands. The new Volvo XC90 SUV, for instance, incorporates Apple CarPlay into its infotainment system, and Apple will be looking to spread its reach by creating synergy with other, similarly high-end brands and products. The basic idea that you might be able to use an app on your iPhone to bring your car's climate control to life and set the right temperature whilst you're still in the office, for example, might be a demonstration of how this synergy could work in a practical way. In short, the iPhone 7 will be able to do far more than we could imagine of a phone even now.
Are you excited for the release of the iPhone 6S, or is it just too expensive? What are you hoping for from the iPhone 7 in 2016? Leave a comment below...