I do a lot of scouting around Amazon, mainly speculative searches to see what comes up. Some people do FCC database searches, I do Amazon. So today I went for some iPhone searches to see what the usual September cycle might hold, and came up with these.
This is a listing for an iPhone 6C case - a 4.7" model specifically although it isn't mentioned in the listing. This is expected to be the strategy Apple will employ - it's what they did with the iPhone 5 when the 5S came out. The idea is to scrap the iPhone 6, but keep producing it's internals. By putting those internals into a plastic shell it removes a major cost of manufacturing the handset, plus gives more colour options at a lower price point, so they basically redress the iPhone 6 up in a pretty, albeit cheaper, shell.
While the 6C itself isn't shown, it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to place the screen and front glass of the iPhone 6 into a body shell similar to what the iPhone 5C occupies today.
Something to note is that this is listed as specifically "6C", not iPhone 6 and 6C or any combination, meaning the 6C could have slightly different dimensions from the 6 or 6S. These are probably millimetre differences though, and no major changes if you look at the button positionings and the fact they're using the iPhone 6 as the model. Either that or the 6C is so close they are taking pictures of the iPhone 6 case they already have in stock.
Don't be fooled by the "in stock" on these listings either - it won't be. The same always happens, this is just to generate pre-orders at a lowered price. I ordered a case for the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus over a month ago and it's still not here, despite being listed in stock at the time.
The next thing I spotted is the next obvious progression of the series - the 6S and 6S Plus. While it might be expected that Apple need to do something special with these to keep people buying them, that doesn't have to be anything to do with their shape. The listing below shows that current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases will be adequate for the 6S and 6S Plus.
So what I can deduce from this:
- There will be a 6C - the 4.7" iPhone 6 in a cheaper to make "unapologetically plastic" bodyshell.
- The shape of the 6S and 6S Plus will not be a departure from the current handset shapes.
- There will probably be some physical camera and/or flash differences, or even something new on the front camera or home button, to make sure people can differentiate between the models by sight.
- New colour options are a strong possibility, or even minor changes in the colour of the antennae separation lines. Apple has always made sure there were differences between the evolutionary models - I don't see the 6S being the first "S" model that you can't tell from the previous non-S model.