Apple ‘iPhone 6s’ rumor roundup

File photo - An Apple iPhone 6 is seen on display at the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015.

File photo - An Apple iPhone 6 is seen on display at the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015.  (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

The next-gen iPhone, which may make its debut next month, will likely have plenty in common with its predecessors, as well as some notable differences.

That means that the 6s -- as it's expected to be called -- will probably look just like the current 6. But there will be some non-trivial hardware and under-the hood tweaks that should keep consumers coming back.

Here are some of the more credible rumors to date:

No new look

Rumors suggest that the latest “s” phones -- since 2009, Apple has affixed an “s” to interim models – will look like the current 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. The only changes that credible Apple blogs have cited are minor internal modifications. That doesn’t rule out a new color or two but, again, the basic design stays the same.

New chip

Apple typically moves to a new processor for the s. For example, with iPhone 5s, Apple introduced for the first time a 64-bit processor, the A7. For the 6s, Apple may move from the current A8 chip to the A9. This is by no means a small change. A new processor typically brings more performance, which generally makes iOS, apps, and everything run faster. Apple may also boost memory capacity from the longstanding 1GB to 2GB. As any PC user knows, adding more memory can boost performance. Note that this is different than flash storage, which currently ranges up to 128GB.

Force Touch

Based on sensors that detect how much pressure you’re applying, Force Touch was first used in the Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook – both new products. With the Watch, pressing firmly on the Force Touch-capable screen lets you, for example, select new watch faces or search an address in Maps. The point here is that Apple is moving to Force Touch across all of its marquee products.

Camera upgrade

Apple never misses an opportunity to improve the iPhone’s camera. The rear camera may jump from the current 8 megapixels to 12 megapixels. The front camera could also be upgraded.

But the larger point is that the iPhone’s camera continues to make standalone DSLR cameras less and less relevant. Sophisticated features like backside illumination sensors, improved aperture, and 1080p HD video recording mean many, if not most, consumers need no other camera. And Apple wants to keep it that way.

Also of note is that the larger 6 Plus has an optical image stabilizer, while the 6 doesn’t. We’ll see if that stays the same with 6s and 6s Plus.

New material

This is a bit iffy but at least one analyst believes Apple will take a material cue from the Apple Watch. That could mean using the same Series 7000 aluminum from the Watch Sport's case, which is more durable than the aluminum used in the iPhone 6.

Release date

Mass production may begin in late August with a target of a mid-September debut.

Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from