So the iPhone 6s has just hit stores in India today, and it somehow seems like Apple has put plenty of effort into the new one with a big leap in internal hardware processing capabilities as well. Basically, Apple delivered with the iPhone 6s back in September, what it should have delivered with the iPhone 6 itself.
The good news is, that those who waited over a year with their iPhone 5s or an Android smartphone, have a great piece of hardware to purchase.
With the iPhone 6s you get an all new display with 3D Touch with software tweaks like Peek and Pop, and a new A9 processor that beats the pants off its Android counterparts even though it just sports two cores. Of course, the next big thing in Apple hardware is the RAM, which is now rated at 2 GB instead of the 1 GB that came on the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus last year. Then of course comes full time OIS with an upgraded 12 MP sensor and 5 MP one up front. And let’s not forget 4K video recording.
All-in-all, it is a massive hardware leap, so big that the iPhone 6s is the first iPhone to get such a performance jump in hardware specs from its non-s siblings.
The iPhone 6s is expensive
Coming to what everyone in India is talking about, the price. And they are ridiculous, no matter how much someone may convince you (just like I did in the previous paragraph) to buy one. Rs 62,000 for a base model with just 16 GB of internal storage is clearly a rip off! And then we have everything in between with the decent 64 GB versions of both iPhones costing Rs 72,000 and Rs 82,000 respectively; with the top of the line 128 GB iPhone 6s Plus retailing for an earth shattering Rs 92,000 (that’s Rs 8000 less to a Rs 1 lakh by the way).
But hey it is hard to tell the difference between the iPhone 6 and the 6s even though the latter is a bit thicker and heavier you just cannot tell the difference until someone in the room asks you to show off 3D Touch.
Should you buy an iPhone 6 instead?
So the big question is, with the new iPhone 6s being so expensive, should you get the older model for less?
The answer is NO.
Yes, there is a massive difference in the prices and yes, the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus will not be losing software support from Apple any time soon.
But there are couple of cracks in Apple’s ecosystem and those cracks with iOS 9 are beginning to show.
When I purchased my iPhone 6 Plus (64 GB) back in 2015, it was as fast as it needed to be. Apps opened and closed with ease on iOS 8 my only worry was the optimisation of apps by developers to the new iPhone 6 display sizes (a bigger display means more lines of text).
And while I was a bit sceptical about Apple launching another Plus model, Apple knew that power users wanted a bigger display and better battery life and they got that with the Plus.
But the only crack that was visible back then, was 1 GB of RAM. Still then I decided to take the leap and purchase it because I wanted to try out iOS after years of Android dedication and the bigger battery did make sense.
1 GB of RAM worked well, that is until iOS 8.2 arrived and although it had plenty of glitches, that 1 GB of RAM began to show its cracks in places like Safari’s Tabs and even scrolling through native apps.However, iOS 8 was not a massive leap. iOS 9, is.
iOS 9 needs more RAM
After the launch of iOS 9 owners of the iPhone 6 also began complaining. The thing is Apple packed in so many new features that performance and stability went for toss. That 1 GB of RAM with the new proactive Siri, Spotlight Search and more, simply could not keep up. Even native apps like the recent contacts list began to stutter while scrolling and the keyboard takes time to pop-up, in a not so iOS way.
And today with iOS 9.0.2, it is a disaster. Mind you that there are no WiFried issues any more 9 (from iOS 8), but more related to stability that make iOS 9.0.2 feel as lag-ridden as a developer beta. On my iPhone 6 Plus, I have to turn off animations (goodbye buttery smooth animations), turn off transparency (goodbye see through glass notifications bar) and I have even turned off Background app refresh and Siri to keep my iPhone running as smooth as it was on iOS 8.4.1.
Frankly speaking, I did not pay Apple Rs 72,000 to run an iPhone with accessibility settings turned on 6 months later.
So in short no, it does not make any sense purchasing an older iPhone, because the minimum hardware requirements have been raised and Apple can do little about it. Innovation needs better hardware and those stuck with an iPhone 6 have to deal with it (Windows 10 smartphone upgraders in Microsoft’s camp, you are next).
What should you do?
Well, you could contact your relative in the US to get you an iPhone 6s for cheap or you could simply go in for a Nexus device from Google, which will deliver a level of consistency that iOS has but on Android.
Else, you will have to just wait till the demand drops along with the prices and the iPhone 6s gets some price cuts in the coming months.
Or you could simply wait till Apple optimises the iPhone 6 to run smoother in the last iOS 9 update. After that iOS 10 arrives and you have to go through the same ordeal all over again.