A batch of photos of a purported ‘iPhone 6s’ rear housing in gold, obtained by Future Supplier and reposted today by French blog NowhereElse.fr, serve as our best indication yet that Apple’s upcoming smartphone refresh will re-use the exterior design of the current-generation (shocker!).
More important than that, however, the photos suggest the upcoming handsets will introduce minuscule changes to the internal layout, with a source claiming a “stronger” Unibody construction and a change to the material’s feel.
The claimed golden shell shows little, if any, visual differences between the upcoming and current iPhone models in terms of the exterior. Taking a closer look at the internal layout, however, does reveal a few noteworthy differences.
The biggest change: screw holes.
The following image highlights the differences between the screw hole placement on the iPhone 6s, at left, versus the present-generation iPhone 6, at right.
The top hole for the screw holds the loudspeaker module and is “slightly higher” than iPhone 6 Plus’s but it’s unclear if this could be interpreted as a potential sign of a tweaked loudspeaker design from the iPhone 6 Plus.
Though gold coating is essentially unchanged from the iPhone 6 Plus, the shell of the current iPhone reportedly feels “smother” than the leaked part, as per Future Supplier’s source.
The rear iPhone 6s housing is described as “stronger” versus that of the current iPhone—another indication of a rumored switch to a chassis made from Series 7000 aluminum.
A custom alloy that Apple designed for the Apple Watch Sport, Series 7000 aluminum is sixty percent stronger than standard alloys but just as light, potentially making the upcoming iPhones more durable and less prone to bending under pressure than the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.
As for the internal components, rumors have pointed to an updated Qualcomm baseband modem for up to twice as fast 4G LTE networking at 300Mbps, improved NFC, Force Touch input, a faster and more reliable Touch ID, an Apple-designed “A9” processor with 2GB of RAM and more.
The new iPhones are expected to launch in September as Apple’s suppliers have just started volume production of critical parts, with the firm’s contract manufacturers currently hiring tens of thousands of workers for iPhone assembly lines.