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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At long last, it’s the official launch day for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which means that the rumors for Apple’s next batch of phones should start popping up in, oh, a week. In the meantime, we’ve got some news on how the phone doesn’t bend and shoots great videos (yay) and how you’ll need a subscription to use Microsoft Office on the upcoming iPad Pro (boo). Oh, and Aaron Sorkin really doesn’t like what Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the movie he wrote the screenplay for.
All right, let’s get this one out of the way — no, the iPhone 6s Plus doesn’t bend as “easily” as the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple used stronger 7000 series aluminum and strengthened the weaker points of the shell, which means that we likely won’t see another “Bendgate” this year.
The video that started it all last year came from Unbox Therapy, but today’s video comes from FoneFox (also on YouTube), where they subjected the iPhone 6s Plus to the same bend-the-device-over-your-thumbs test from last year.
Not only did the latest phone survive what seems to be the same force, the narrator also shows that the phone actually sprang back in place after enduring the punishment. FoneFox did, in fact, get the iPhone 6s Plus to bend, but only by bringing in a second person. FoneFox readily admitted, though, that the device is unlikely to see this kind of force in your pocket.
Last month Unbox Therapy itself managed to get its hands on one of the shells for the then-unreleased iPhone 6s, but even without the internal components installed, its findings mirrored those of FoneFox.
If you’re more interested in what the iPhone 6s Plus’ 4K-capable camera actually does, check out the video below. It’s a short documentary called “The Painter of Jalouzi,” and it was shot entirely on an iPhone 6s Plus. And the results are astounding.
Filmmakers David Darg and Bryn Mooser shot the documentary for Ryot.org, and they had this to say:
“In a relatively short amount of time, we went from terrible pixelated phone photos, to this, which is just as good as cameras that cost tens of thousands of dollars,” Darg said. “When we heard the new iPhone would shoot in 4K, we thought about what we could shoot that would really demonstrate the power of the resolution. Jalouzi is so visually impacting. The mountainside is full of detail and color, so it’s the ultimate test of a camera’s ability. Plus, we’ve been wanting to tell the story for a long time.”
Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs film has already received numerous accolades ahead of its October 23 wide release date, but Apple CEO Yim Cook lightly criticized the film (and others) as “opportunistic” during his recent interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin doesn’t exactly agree with that, to put it lightly.
“Nobody did this movie to get rich,” Sorkin said, afterwards noting that Cook should see the movie before making any judgements. But it gets even more harsh than that.
“Third,” Sorkin said, “if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone ‘opportunistic.’”
Yowza. Cook has got to see that as a heavy blow, especially considering all the measures Apple has taken to improve lives at the factories where many of its parts are made (and those of its competitors) since he assumed leadership. Cook, who has made it his mission to make Apple a “force for good,” may have a hard time letting such a comment roll off his back. Still, Sorkin is right about one thing — Cook acknowledged in his Colbert interview that he hadn’t actually seen any of the new films.
On the other hand, Cook has read the Walter Isaacson biography on which Sorkin’s screenplay is based, and in an interview with Fast Company Cook branded it a “tremendous disservice” to Jobs and that “The person I read about there was somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time.”
Microsoft won a lot of goodwill from the Apple community recently when it announced that Office apps for the iPad and iPhone were now free for both viewing and editing, but as Ars Technica reports, it seems that won’t be the case for the upcoming iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch screen is just too big, claims the Redmond, Washington giant.
The company means that literally. Microsoft has a 10.1-inch screen size limit for access to the free viewing and editing features, which wasn’t a problem for the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad mini. To enjoy the iPad Pro’s big picture, unfortunately, you’re going to need to purchase an Office 365 subscription.
If you’re still interested after that, Microsoft offers Office 365 Personal for one person for .99 a year or .99 per month, and then there’s its five-person Office 365 Home plan for .99 per year or .99 per month. Both services allow access to Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access for PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.
It’s that time of year again — the time when thousands of people worldwide brave the cold or heat and camp outside of Apple Stores for the new iPhones. And this time, someone’s even sent a robot of sorts in her place. Elsewhere, a National Geographic photographer shows what the iPhone 6s Plus can do when he takes it on assignment instead of his usual photography equipment.
The Apple retail experience has changed a lot in the last few years, but for better or worse, people still camp out in lines by the dozen at various stores in order to be the first to get their hands on the new iPhones. This year, though, the biggest lines appear to be overseas.
So far the most notable sitter can be found at the flagship Apple Store in Sydney, Australia. According to Mashable, media agency executive Lucy Kelly of the Atomic 212 has set up a telepresence robot at the fourth spot in line that takes her place while she’s free to attend to her duties at work. The contraption is essentially an iPad attached to an Segway-type device, and Kelly apparently even hopes that she’ll be able to buy the iPod with the device without any real human interaction.
According to Kelly, the other people waiting in line aren’t too bothered by it.
“Everyone thinks it is pretty cool,” Kelly said. “They were happy to let a robot go ahead.”
So far, the biggest lines appear to be in Germany, where the Munich store has installed temporary rows for those waiting to purchase their phones (via Martin Gollwitzer and Lana Lee). In Hamburg (via Daniel Knott) the crowd of waiting customers is so thick that they’re taking up almost the entire sidewalk.
While comparatively tame, things are still getting a little crazy over here in the States. In Little Rock, Arkansas, for instance, a Twitter user named Stephen has set up his Xbox One in front of the local Apple Store, where he’s been playing the game Destiny since Monday (and, oddly, even getting uncut pizza from Domino’s).
It’s true that good photography ultimately comes from the photographer, not his or her equipment, but it’s hard to argue that good equipment doesn’t help make that vision all the more beautiful. As for National Geographic photographer Mark Leong, he’s finding that the new iPhone 6s Plus is doing a great job of replacing his former heavy, clunky equipment.
Source: National Geographic
Leong’s most recent assignment sent him to Sanjiang in China, where he revisited sites from the 1989 trip that led to his becoming a professional photographer. The difference is that he was only allowed to take an iPhone 6s Plus this time, but with the help of a tripod and Cogitap’s Slow Shutter Cam app, that didn’t prove a problem (particularly with the camera’s new 12 megapixel sensor).
In fact, he found that not having to lug along all that extra equipment “incredibly liberating.” Back in the ’80s, Leong carried eight pounds of Kodak film with him, along with two Nikon cameras and three lenses. You can check out the results from Leong’s impressive journey over at National Geographic.
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If you can’t stop refreshing the UPS website in anticipation of your shiny new iPhone 6s moving closer to home, our Tuesday edition of Apple Daily will point you in the direction of some early reviews to keep your mind occupied for a little bit. We’ve also got a first look at what’s powering the new Apple TV, along with official word from Apple on that XcodeGhost iOS malware that recently affected Chinese App Store customers.
Apple’s latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models are winging their way around the globe and across the country to land on the doorsteps of preorder and retail customers this Friday, September 25, but those hankering for some independent criticism on the new smartphones won’t have to travel very far to find them right now.
Naturally, our first stop is techradar, where the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have already been lovingly detailed, each with a four-star rating hailing 3D Touch, the “bright, vibrant display” and “fuss-free camera,” while noting the battery life falls a bit short, Live Photos don’t always work, and there’s still room for improvement even after the release of iOS 9.
Next, MacRumors has assembled highlights of other key reviews from tech websites such as The Verge, Mashable, and TechCrunch, and the mid-cycle refresh appears to be worthy of consideration — especially for those interested in the new 3D Touch technology or the expanded capabilities of the dual cameras.
The Verge wasted no time exclaiming that Apple has “done it again” and referring to the iPhone 6s “the best smartphone out there, period,” praising Apple for managing to “do new things better, apply them broadly, and make them seem natural” in reference to the new 3D Touch feature. Mashable also gushed over the iPhone 6s Plus hardware, calling it a “performance beast” whose 12-megapixel camera easily bests both last year’s iPhone 6 Plus as well as its closest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
TechCrunch also summed up the iPhone 6s camera as “truly great” while noting the second-generation Touch ID sensor is “so fast that you can no longer tap the home button to wake your screen, because it will unlock instantly.” Last but not least, Apple’s new 4K video recording and Live Photos feature was also singled out for particular praise in this first round of embargoed reviews.
Last week, a select number of developers began receiving fourth-generation Apple TV units following a lottery to determine who would receive the brand-new hardware before its public release next month. Apparently, one of those developers have handed the unit over to the folks at iFixit, who summarily began tearing it down to see what makes it — and the accompanying Siri-powered remote — tick.
Not surprisingly, the little black box is powered by a dual-core, 64-bit A8 chip with 2GB of SDRAM that retains the aging 10/100 Ethernet port found on earlier models. Perhaps contributing to the slightly taller dimensions, the latest Apple TV includes a larger heat sink than previous models, while the Siri Remote features a Broadcom-manufactured touch screen controller also used in iPhone 5s and iPad Air devices.
On a positive note, iFixit has awarded the fourth-gen Apple TV a repairability score of eight out of 10, suggesting that users won’t have a very difficult time trying to fix the media streaming box should anything go wrong with it in the future. Apple TV is scheduled to begin shipping sometime in late October.
Over the weekend, Apple removed dozens of apps from the Chinese App Store, all of which were infected with a new form of iOS malware called “XcodeGhost.” Apparently, the afflicted developers used a counterfeit version of the developer tool Xcode hosted on third-party servers to compile these apps, but has since acted quickly with instructions on how to fix the problem, which does not affect apps compiled with the official Xcode versions found on the Mac App Store and Apple’s own website.
Earlier today, Apple posted a question-and-answer page in both Chinese and English to address any further concerns about the XcodeGhost malware, noting there is no evidence to suggest any malicious intent thus far, nor has any “personally identifiable customer data” been impacted.
Apple plans to list the top 25 most popular apps affected by Xcode Ghost, and will be notifying customers who have downloaded one or more of these apps. Once developers submit an update for the issue, customers will then be able to apply it to the copy on their device. Finally, it’s important to note this issue only affected Chinese customers — those in other regions were not impacted.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
In case you missed it, Apple released watchOS 2 to the masses earlier today, no doubt making Apple Watch owners everywhere quite happy. But the iPhone maker didn’t stop there — our Monday edition of Apple Daily has the story on the latest Apple Car rumors (along with a potential release date), what to expect from Friday’s iPhone 6s launch, and a public beta for the first OS X El Capitan 10.11.1 update.
After being delayed last week to an undetermined time, watchOS 2 — the updated operating system for Apple Watch — was released by Apple earlier today. You can get it now by going to the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone (make sure it’s been updated to iOS 9), then selecting General, then Software Update, then Download and Install.
watchOS 2 includes many new features, such as third-party complications, the ability to run native apps, Time Travel mode to easily see your schedule, a nightstand mode, and new watch faces.
MacRumors today reported the so-called Apple Car has supposedly achieved “committed project” status inside of Cupertino headquarters, with 2019 pegged as a prospective release date. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has ramped up the number of employees working on the project in order to hit that target date.
“The go-ahead came after the company spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meetings with two groups of government officials in California,” the report elaborated. “Leaders of the project, code-named Titan, have been given permission to triple the 600-person team, the people familiar with the matter said.”
Of note, the report claims Apple’s car may not be autonomous (or self-driving) after all, but such functionality could arrive at a later date.
Apple issued a press release Monday morning to remind everyone the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are arriving in retail stores this Friday, September 25 at 8AM local time. The announcement confirmed “stores will have the new iPhones available for walk-in customers who are encouraged to arrive early,” adding in a footnote that reservations will be required in four tax-free US states — Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Oregon — as well as China, Hong Kong, and Japan, presumably to keep scalpers at bay.
Those hoping to saunter in and grab an iPhone 6s on Friday will apparently have no choice now: 9to5Mac today reported that preorders for both new models are completely sold out worldwide from Apple’s online store, with the earliest delivery date now estimated for September 29. That’s still a big improvement over last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch, but Apple had a little more lead time with the new models, presumably to build up additional inventory for the masses later this week.
In addition to releasing watch OS 2 on Monday, Apple has also issued the first public beta of OS X El Capitan 10.11.1, a maintenance update for the company’s new Mac operating system arriving next Wednesday, September 30.
According to AppleInsider, the beta build which is already in the hands of developers offers “support for new emoji characters and improved overall system stability,” suggesting Apple could schedule a public release soon after the debut of OS X El Capitan 10.11 itself.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter