The sales figures for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are in, and they’re phenomenal — much better than last year’s, in fact. Many people are no doubt picking up the devices because of the quality of the camera (which is shown off below in a gallery comparing photos from all previous iPhones), but they may also be happy to learn that the new phones appear to be much more water resistant than the iPhones that have come before.
Some commentators feared that Apple wouldn’t be able to pull off sales as spectacular as those for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in an “S release” year, but last weekend Apple smashed such concerns thoroughly. The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus saw a whopping 13 million sales over the weekend, compared to last year’s 10 million units in the same timeframe. And to think that seemed like a breathtaking figure in itself back then.
“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a company press release. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”
It’s worth putting those numbers in perspective, though. This year Apple released the new iPhones in China on the first day of availability, while it waited a couple of weeks before releasing them in China last year. But today’s numbers also show how Apple’s standing in China is improving, as the company also released the iPhone 5s and 5c in China on the first available weekend, which helped the company net a total of 9 million sales in the same timeframe in 2013.
Unfortunately, Apple so far hasn’t provided any data detailing how many of those orders came from the company’s new iPhone Upgrade Program.
The Cupertino giant plans to release the phones in an additional 40 countries on October 9, and after that, it plans for the phones to be sold in more than 130 countries by the close of the year.
Much as with the Apple Watch, the appears to be an unexpected benefit to owning the new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus: Compared to their predecessors, they appear to be surprisingly water resistant. Just don’t get the impression that you can go swimming while you check out Instagram. While they’re definitely more water resistant, they’re still not waterproof.
This morning MacRumors compiled a list of the best videos on YouTube showing the new phones’ water resistance. The first, from TechSmartt, noted that both the iPhone 6s Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy 6S Edge seemed to keep working even after being in submerged in shallow water for 30 minutes, which reportedly marks a massive step up from the iPhone 6′s survival for a mere minute last year in the same conditions. Yet another video from Zach Straley (below) subjects both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to underwater conditions for a full hour, and both phones performed fine for a couple of days (although Straley noted an aberration on the iPhone 6s’ screen in a followup video).
Straley’s findings prove that the new phones can take a lot of damage, but they’re still not waterproof. Another site called iDeviceHelp shows this tendency the best (below), as they submerged the iPhone 6s Plus four feet down in a swimming pool, where it started to have problems after a mere two minutes. Within two hours, it was dead.
So there are two good things to take away from this. One, Apple is clearly making efforts to make its phones more water resistant. Two, the discoveries lend some credibility to the first real rumor about the iPhone 7 (which MacOtakara noticed on the Chinese social media site Weibo), which claims that Apple’s next big smartphone will, in fact, be waterproof and not have a metallic casing at all. It may be hogwash, but there’s a kernel of truth there, and we have an whole new year of speculation about it ahead of us.
A lot of people have been raving about how good the camera for the iPhone 6s is, but Lisa Bellamy of Camera+ has compared a gallery of photos taken with all releases of the iPhone to show us just what that means as regards Apple’s legacy so far.
For her project, Bellamy took the same shots with every iPhone from the 2MP 2007 original to this year’s 12MP release, and the resulting photos show that Apple has overcome hurdles in everything from skin tones to pixelation.
Bellamy notes, though, that the iPhone 6s’ camera could still use some improvements — she noticed pixelation problems with the highlights on her cheeks in some photos — but on the whole the images with the new phone are more “vibrant, sharper, and skin tones look more true to life.”
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