As with every Apple product launch, there is major online buzz about the company’s Sept. 10 announcement, in which the U.S. tech giant is expected to announce details about a new smartphone.
Apple is notoriously stingy with details in the run-up to its product launches, and given its reputation for innovation, the online rumour mill is always very active.
For the past few weeks, the internet has been rife with speculation about what Apple is planning to announce on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at some of the rumours.
The iPhone 5S
The main event of the Sept. 10 presentation, tech insiders believe, is the launch of a new iPhone, thought to be called the 5S. It’s not expected to be physically different from the iPhone 5, but there are suggestions it has more horsepower (i.e. faster processing).
Arguably the most hotly anticipated aspect of the new iPhone is a biometric fingerprint scanner, which would be used to confirm the owner’s identity. This highly personalized technology could provide added security and make it that much more convenient to use your smartphone for online shopping and banking.
Details of the fingerprint sensor, which are thought to be part of the iPhone’s home button, were leaked to the internet by Sonny Dickson, an Australian teen who has gained a reputation for getting advance info on Apple products. Dickson told Reuters his information comes from sources in China who buy Apple prototype parts directly from factory workers who make the products.
The 5C: an entry-level iPhone
One longstanding criticism of Apple has been the retail price of its smartphone, which is significantly more than that of its competitors. Up until now, the company has only produced one version per generation, but that may be about to change. There are strong rumours that alongside the 5S, Apple will be selling a cheaper version, the 5C, which would feature a plastic shell and have the processing guts of the iPhone 5.
Another criticism of the iPhone has been the functionality of its operating system, iOS, which was introduced on the very first iPhone, in 2007. Detractors say that because of its architecture, iOS makes it challenging to use multiple apps at once. (One of the chief selling points of the latest BlackBerry smartphone, the Z10, was the ability to multitask by simply swiping between apps.)
A beta version of a new Apple operating system, iOS 7, was sent to various developers earlier this summer. The most notable update seems to be a feature called Control Center, which allows a user to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to quickly access apps such as the camera and calculator or settings such as screen brightness and Airplane Mode.
The invitation to the Sept. 10 Apple event features brightly coloured circles and the slogan "This should brighten everyone’s day," which many tech watchers have taken as confirmation that the next-generation iPhones will be available in something more than the standard black or white.
There are reports that the 5C will come in a variety of neon colours, including yellow, red and green. Various tech sites have reported that Apple is also working on new colours for the 5S, including grey, silver and gold.