iPhone 6(S) | The S is for ‘Spensive



the care if appleApple tacks on another $30 for Apple Care + on the iPhone 6(S) and Plus. Since the price point is the exact same and the only real things that have changed are the Apple financed monthly payment program (it is important to note the Apple finance plan includes AppleCare+) and some of the components on the new iPhone. Here is a quick overview on the delta (if any) on the (S) based duo:




  • Display
  1. Resolution (PPI) -No Change
  2. Size -No Change
  3. 3D Touch -Adds pressure sensitivity, thermal sensing, and haptic feedback (Taptic Engibe)
  • Capacity (Flash Memory)
  1. i6S handsets: 16/32/128GB
  2. i6 handsets: 16/32GB
  • Biometric Security (TouchID)
  1. Generation 2. Indicates the possibility of a tech refresh on the silicon side.
  • iSight Canera
  1. 12 MegaPixel / 1.22µ pixels (yes is does have a sapphire lens cover dispite s rumor that it wouldn’t)
  2. Live Photos -I don’t see how Live Photos is a hardware requirement. While I personally don’t think LIve Photos fills a gap or make anything in life easier…it is a cool effect.
  3. 4K Recording, better Slo-Mo, stabilization for Timelapse
  4. Playback Zoom
  • FaceTime Camera
  1. 5 MegaPixel
  2. Retina Flash (nothing to do with the camera)

Schiller touched on the architecture of the Apple A9 SoC, and how it had improved. The Motion Co-Processor, which is the logic that handles sensor data, has been re-designed and removed from the iPhone 6S logic board and etched onto the A9 core. This will give all functions utilizing sensor data a huge increase in performance because the data doesn’t have to leave one chip, and travel onto the circuit board to another chip, then return. Apple graphically represents this here:

Build Materials

And that’s pretty much it for electronics, optics and other sensors. At the keynote, Phil Schiller explained that the alloy used in the rear plate construction was Aluminum 7000, Aerospace quality. When people say Aerospace grade Aluminum, they are referring to Aluminiun 7075:

  • Aluminium alloy 7075 is an aluminium alloy, with zinc as the primary alloying element. It is strong, with a strength comparable to many steels, and has good fatigue strength and average machinability, but has less resistance to corrosion than many other Al alloys. Its relatively high cost limits its use to applications where cheaper alloys are not suitable…(cite this)


Schiller went on to briefly mention the protective of glass on the 3D Touch Display was new but didn’t go into specifics about the durability, other than it was durable. Since Sapphire isn’t glass (it’s s mineral) they must have been embedded with Corning, working out something good.


Why the increase?

This could mean that the new build materials needed to provide extra protection for that 3D Touch display because of its elevated repair cost, but is that all? The reason Apple increased AppleCare+ on the (S) handsets only…was to hedge the cost of the AppleCare+ claims on display repairs. That coupled with a logical expectation that the Apple monthly payment plan is going to attract more business and plus up the number of i6S/+ owners. Apple expects increased repair claims on i6(S)+displays.

Their analysis could have been based on metrics from their organic display repair service. Last year, Apple began in-store display repair, starting with the 5S and higher. The data they captured since launching the service would have given insight on the margin of a display repair only.  Are they trying to make more money from a display repair? Yes and No. They shouldn’t be expected to do it for free, but they want iPhone users using iPhones and not not-using an iPhone because the display is broken. On the other side, Apple should build a product that has reasonable durability, and the conspiracy theorists will hint at the idea of handset projects where fragility is designed into a mobile device for increased  business in repair services and up-selling newer models. This sounds like the perfect racket until you realize that the recurring revenue stream comes from apps, music and subscriptions. Broken phones don’t buy things.

Another factor could by the complexity of the repair process. If the process of the display repair is difficult and takes longer, that can impact the bottom line. We will have to wait until the folks at iFixit and Chipworks get a hold of an iPhone 6S.

%d bloggers like this: