The new Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been launched in Cupertino tonight, with a faster processor, tougher screen and especial love given to the cameras.

VP of marketing, Phil Schiller, showed off the new smartphones in four colours,  Space Grey, Silver, Gold and the highly anticipated Rose Gold.

The most interesting new feature is something Apple calls 3D Touch. Essentially, this is bit like right click for multitouch, allowing different interactions to take place if you push hard on the screen compared to tapping or holding.

The 3D Touch function  is “Peak & Pop”. This action allows you to check your calendar if a friend sends you the date of an event or add it directly to your calendar all without leaving the app you were originally using, just by pushing hard on it to bring up a contextual menu. You can also switch between apps more easily, send instant messages, update Facebook and more by just long touching the app you want to complete an action with.

The new iPhones also get a speed boost with a new CPU, the A9. It’s reportedly 70% than its predecessor and promises “console like” gaming performance (we’ve heard that before, Apple). The demos at tonight’s event do look good though: they included a high res version of Warhammer: Freeblade.

The new A9 processor opens up new possibilites with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
The new A9 processor opens up new possibilites with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

A large part of the demo was given over to iPhone 6s’ new rear facing camera, which has a beefed up sensor resolution of 12MP. Classically, increasing the number of pixel sites in a sensor has led to problems with image quality as cramming more pixels into the same size space creates electrical interference.

It’s a problem that camera manufacturers have battled with for a decade or so. Smartphones, with their smaller camera sensors, are even more susceptible.

Apple, however, claims to have solved the issue by physically separating out the individual pixels using something it calls “deep trench technology”. By making it harder for electrons to jump the gap, the firm reckons it can produce sharper and better quality pics at higher resolutions.

That means you can stitch together 64MP panoramic photos. The autofocus has also been improved, apparently.

The new camera technology means panoramic shots are more flawless and beautiful than ever.
The new camera technology means panoramic shots are more flawless and beautiful than ever.

Perhaps less convincingly, Apple has included an emergency selfie mode by combining a 5MP front facing camera with 3D Touch. Call up the emergency selfie and the entire screen acts as a flashgun too.

New pricing was announced for the US along with an annual upgrade plan, but we anticipate that the iPhone 6s 16GB will retail in South Africa for around R14 999. Because that’s what the 6 cost.

Internationally, it’ll be released on 25th September so we expect the new  iPhones to reach South Africa by November because, well, it always does.