iPhone 6S: rumors, Force Touch Plus, release date, Apple Watch lessons

The iPhone 6S is well on its way even as Apple hopes to keep rumors and details from leaking out too early before its release date, even as the company attempts to salvage a botched Apple Watch launch and looks to see what lessons it can carry forward into the next launch. Rumors continue to fly that Force Touch will find its way to the iPhone 6S, but half of that long standing story appeared to die this week. We’ve got all that in more in our iPhone 6S roundup for the week:

Force Touch: Apple loves to roll out a new technology or feature on a new product line, and if it works, then adapt it to the more established product lines as well. From nearly the day it was introduced, various rumors have suggested that the Force Touch feature would find its way from the Apple Watch to the iPhone 6S. However some of those rumors inexplicably claimed it would be limited to the 6S Plus model. There has never been any chance of that, as various studies have pegged the iPhone 6 Plus as selling only about one-fourth as well as the standard iPhone 6 model. Apple wouldn’t add such a key feature to its least popular iPhone model and make the vast majority of its users wait another year for it. Accordingly, the outlets which have long claimed Force Touch would come only to the 6S Plus are now backtracking and claiming that Apple has changed its mind. In any case, if Force Touch is ready in time for the 6S launch, it’ll be available on both sized models.

iPhone 6S launch: Speaking of the Apple Watch, the company is still trying to recover from the blundered launch of the product. Customers were required to preorder online before being able to try on the various sizes and bands for the product, forcing them to guess what they might want. And there was nearly no inventory on hand at the time preorders were taken, particularly of the black colored models, meaning even the very first people to place an order were forced to wait a month or more, even as people who ordered other colors much later received theirs first – among a litany of other complaints big and small. Apple was ambitious in attempting to entirely redefine its launch strategy, and essentially failed on all fronts. The verdict: look for it to go back to the old way of doing things with the iPhone 6S launch, including the lineups at retail stores.

iPhone 6S release date: iPhone 6 sales continue to set records, even as Android based vendors have launched newer competitors throughout the winter and spring. Apple’s only motivation for releasing the iPhone 6S any sooner than its traditional timeframe would be if sales fall off significantly in the mean time, and it appears there is little danger of that happening. That means you can look for the iPhone 6S release date in the September to October 2015 range, with a media event held shortly beforehand.

iPod touch 6th generation release date makes for iPhone conundrum

Apple is running out of excuses for the long lingering iPod touch 6th generation release date, but does that mean its launch is imminent. The original excuse was that iPhone 6 demand was through the roof, placing a strain on shared components such as the new sized screen or then-new A8 microprocessor. But as iPhone demand was gradually met, the iPod touch 6 never did materialize, meaning that was never the issue. Then came the notion that Apple was purposely holding back on the new iPod touch in the hopes of motivating people to buy the iPhone instead. But eight months later that idea has also come and gone. So what now?

With all those hurdles cleared, Apple could launch the iPod touch 6th generation at any time. There are no upcoming media events on the horizon, and the new iPod isn’t popular enough to warrant its own event. Instead it’s on the other end of the spectrum: its remaining user base is so specialized that it could launch the 6th gen with little more than a press release, and they’d still find their way to it. But there’s a problem with that strategy.

The iPod touch 6th generation will certainly remain on the market for at least two years, as its predecessors have done. If Apple launches it right now with the iPhone 6 era specs such as the A8 chip, that means it will already be an obsolete product from day one, let alone by the time it gets into its second year. But Apple can’t launch an iPod touch 6 now with newer, iPhone 6S era specs. If the iPod touch 6th generation is indeed to have the A9 chip and other similar specs and features, its release date will simply have to wait until the fall when the new iPhone makes its debut.

NASCAR race today: Dover Xfinity 200 time TV channel live stream

The NASCAR schedule heads to Dover today for the Buckle Up 200 race on the Xfinity Series schedule, which comes near the midpoint of the stock car racing season and sees drivers continuing to shuffle for position in the standings, with just four points separating the top two drivers. Today’s race has an afternoon start time and airs on a surprise TV channel, as well as a live stream online option.

Chris Buescher has risen to the NASCAR Xfinity Series leaderboard, holding a four point lead over former leader Ty Dillon. Behind them things open up a bit, with last year’s winner Chase Elliott twenty-eight points back in third place, while Darrell Wallace Jr and Regan Smith round out the top five. All three NASCAR races are taking place in Dover this weekend, making for a triple header among the Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and truck racing series combined.

Today’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Dover 200 race has a start time schedule of 2:30pm eastern time, 11:30am pacific time, and airs on TV channel FOX, which is a departure from the recent slate of Xfinity races airing on the harder to find FS1. The race is also being made available as a live stream online.