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August 9, 2015
About a month ahead of nearly every Apple (AAPL) new production introduction, the rumor mill simultaneously consolidates and gets hotter. That means fewer wild hairs surface about what Apple might do and more solid buzz emerges about what it’s likely to do.
And so it goes with Apple’s next iPhones, referred to in most circles as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, with BuzzFeed reporting the vendor “most likely” will debut new models on Wednesday, September 9, coincidentally (or not) the same day it announced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year.
While Apple’s special event likely will revolve around the next upgrades to its iPhone, other showcase possibilities include the long-rumored overhaul to its Web TV set top box and updates to its suffering iPad line, although it’s unlikely the vendor will unwrap the much talked-about 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
As for the next iPhone, Apple is said to have told its suppliers to ramp up for a production run of some 90 million units, nearly a 30 percent increase over the volume it requested from suppliers for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Foxconn, Apple’s longtime production and assembly partner, reportedly is hiring workers at its plant in Zhengzhou, China to gear up for the mass production of the new iPhones, which reportedly will begin later this month. Pegatron also is involved in producing the phones and Apple is said to have tapped Taiwan-based Wistron as a possible third assembler.
The next iPhone, which will sport the ultra-fast A9 chip, run iOS 9, and again be sized at 4.7- and 5.5-inches, will come equipped with the long-rumored ultra-sensitive displays called Force Touch that senses the amount of pressure a user exerts on a screen. The feature already is included on the Apple Watch and the latest 15-inch MacBook unit.
Other rumored features include a DSLR-quality camera, a sapphire glass screen and a new rose gold-colored model. The new color still is in testing and may or may not end up deployed in final products. The units also are expected to ship with 2GB of RAM, double that of the iPhone 6, and Apple’s multi-carrier SIM card.
As for the long-awaited Apple TV, recent reports indicate the vendor also will show off the set top box on September 9 but users will have to wait until 2016 for the Internet TV subscription service that goes hand-in-glove with the hardware.
The Web TV set top box, which hasn’t been upgraded since 2012, is said to be a more refined version of earlier models featuring a slimmed down chassis, powered by an A8 SoC, more on-board storage, an upgraded operating system with Siri voice input and a fancier remote with touch-pad controls.
Apple also will open a new App Store dedicated to the Apple TV along with a SDK for developers to build new apps.
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