Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s

Alex Kidman 8 September 2016

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Apple is keen for iPhone users to upgrade to the iPhone 7, but does that make sense if you’re an iPhone 6s owner?

Apple’s iPhone 7 is the Cupertino company’s latest premium smartphone, which it will sell in Australia from 16 September in capacities of 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. The iPhone 7 will cost $1079(32GB), $1229(128GB) and $1379(256GB). If you fancy the larger iPhone 7 Plus, it will cost $1269 (32GB), $1419 (128GB) or $1569 (256GB) respectively.

The iPhone 7 series is designed to eventually replace the iPhone 6s series of phones, but Apple has taken the interesting step of not only keeping multiple storage capacities of last year's 6s and 6s Plus phones, but increasing them, with the new ground level for iPhone 6s at 32GB, as well as a 128GB variant. For the iPhone 6s, that will cost you $929 or $1079 for 128GB. For the iPhone 6s Plus the 32GB model will cost $1079 and $1229 for the 128GB variant. If nothing else, that's a nice inclusion given that $1079 would have bought you a 16GB iPhone 6s yesterday, while the 16GB 6s Plus would have cost you $1229 outright.

But what do you get for your money? That’s largely a question of specifications, because both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s will run the upcoming iOS 10 operating system. The iPhone 7 will no doubt end up a generation or two in iOS support terms ahead over the long run, but right now, the software story is identical. That's not the case for hardware, though:

AppleiPhone 7iPhone 7 PlusiPhone 6siPhone 6s Plus
Screen size4.7in5.5in4.7in5.5in
Storage64/128/256GB64/128/256GB32/128GB32/128GB
Weight138g188g143g192g
ProcessorApple A10 FusionApple A10 FusionApple A9Apple A9
Rear camera12MP12MP12MP12MP
Front camera7MP7MP5MP5MP
BatteryTBCTBC1715mAh2750mAh
Resolution1334x7501920x10801334x7501920x1080
Display density326ppi515ppi326ppi400ppi
RRP$1079/$1229/$1379$1269/$1419/$1569$929/$1079$1079/$1229

Those base specifications aren’t the entire story of course, with the iPhone 7 also trumping the iPhone 6s in terms of waterproofing as well, for instance. As a flipside, the lack of a headphone port on the iPhone 7 could well make the iPhone 6s a more attractive proposition for a new phone buyer, especially given the very welcome bump in entry-level storage capacities. There's certainly not much of an argument in favour of rushing out to buy the 16GB model at yesterday's prices when you can get the 32GB model for either less or the same price!

Apple’s general strategy for its iPhone releases is to capture folks who have had their phones for two years, so in straight replacement terms it’s pitched at those who bought into the iPhone 6 generation. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t upgrade from the iPhone 6s though. We’re quite certain that Apple would love to take your money.

But as with any phone that’s only a year old right now, the upgrade picture for iPhone 6s owners is less compelling than for those holding onto iPhones from older generations unless you're already pushing your iPhone 6s to its limits.

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