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The iPhone 6s will gain Force Touch and rose gold colour option, analysts claims Apple

It may be the most predictable technology story of the year (every year), but it is often the one our readers get most excited about. Assuming Apple sticks with tradition, the new iPhone is now around three months away - so here's everything we know about it so far.

Announcement and release date: A September arrival

Let us get the most important details out of the way first. The next iPhone is likely to be announced on 8 September, a year after the iPhone 6 and a Tuesday - the day of the week when Apple traditionally announces major new products.

We can expect Apple to confirm this with press invitations to the announcement, which should land in our inboxes in either the last week or August or the first week of September. We expect the iPhone 6s to go on sale ten days after it is announced, on 18 September - a Friday, typically when Apple puts new iPhones on sale.

The name: iPhone 6s or iPhone 7?

Ever since the iPhone 3G became the 3GS ("the S is for speed," Apple told us), the iPhone has had its number updated one year, then an S added to it 12 months later. As such, we expect the next Apple handset to be called the iPhone 6s - stylised with a lowercase s.

But six years of number-S-number-S tradition hasn't stopped 'iPhone 7' becoming a much more popular Google search term than 'iPhone 6s'.

Despite Apple giving the iPad mini and iPad Air a new number every year - even when the most recent mini was a tiny upgrade - our money is still on the next phone being called the iPhone 6s.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s on GoogleTrends
iPhone 7 has been searched for far more often than iPhone 6s, the logical name of the next Apple phone Screenshot

Design: More of the same, with added rose gold

As is also tradition, Apple does very little to the iPhone's design for the S update. Aesthetically, we expect the iPhone 6s (or iPhone 7, if you insist) to remain visually almost identical to the iPhone 6. Apple might look to shave a fraction of an inch from its thickness - or some may even be added if the rumoured Force Touch system outlined below is to be accounted for.

Apple Watch Edition rose gold white sport
A rose gold iPhone would compliment the Apple Watch Edition Apple

Replacing the all-too-easily cracked glass screen with near-indestructible sapphire crystal would be a huge upgrade over every iPhone to go before it. But Apple has experimented with sapphire before and failed to reliably produce a screen to match the company's high standards. Vertu uses sapphire on its phones, but charging at least £7,000 for each handset more than covers the extra manufacturing cost.

Visual tweaks we would like to see include a way of hiding those unsightly plastic antenna lines on the back of the current model - and a rear camera which sits flush with the back cover would also be welcome.

Finally, Apple is tipped to be offering the new iPhone is rose gold to compliment the Apple Watch Edition of the same colour.

Force Touch: Adopted from Watch and the MacBook

Here is what we suspect will be the biggest update to the iPhone. Already a feature on the Apple Watch and Apple's new MacBook Pro, Force Touch is a pressure-sensitive technology which lets you perform different actions depending on how hard you press the screen or trackpad.

MacBook Pro Force Touch
Already on the new MacBook Pros, Force Touch is tipped to come to the iPhone 6s Apple

For the iPhone, a display with Force Touch could add a whole new input gesture for developers to experiment with.

Press harder to shoot more aggressively in games, or brake harder in racing simulators; pressure modulation also means music apps like virtual keyboards can be played more accurately and with improved realism. Or developers could hide sections of user interface, only making them visible when the screen is pressed more firmly.

Screen: More of the same

Apart from the Force Touch technology underneath it, we're not expecting any changes for the new iPhone's screen. Apple made waves with the iPhone 6 and its two pronged approach, so we doubt the company would change screen sizes yet again for the iPhone 6s. This means developers and case makers needn't worry about redesigning to fit new dimensions and resolutions.

Software: iOS 9 incoming

We already know that Apple will release iOS 9 to the public in the autumn, and we also know this is the software which will ship on the next iPhone.

IBTimes UK has already written at length about iOS 9 and all the new features it will be bringing to the iPhone and iPad lineup - and you can read that here.

As a brief reminder, iOS 9 will include transit directions in its Maps app, a more intelligent Siri, an all new application called News, a new font, and much more besides.

That's it for now, but over the next three months we expect to hear (and see) much more about the new iPhone; IBTimes UK will of course be keeping you up to date on all of the latest iPhone 6s developments.