Apple's next version of the iPhone, which has been dubbed the iPhone 5S in the press, is likely to be released on 10 September according to a report by AllThingsD. The date is seen as pretty much accurate, given that the last iPhone came out on 12 September.
So what are we expecting from the iPhone 5s?
Fingerprint scanner: According to a report by MacRumors, which quoted reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 5S may include a sapphire-covered convex home button housing a fingerprint sensor.
Kuo has a strong track record in terms of its ability to predict features of the iPhone in the past and according to Ming's analysis, Apple's new convex home button creates space for fingerprint sensor.
He is quoted as saying: A convex home button could be more easily scratched, so a harder material is required. We believe Apple will switch from plastic to sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond. Sapphire would protect the home button from being scratched and the fingerprint sensor from being damaged.
Do note that Apple also purchased Authentec, a company which provides security hardware and software for PCs and mobile devices, last year in July.
What does Authentec offer: It provides mobile security software licenses to companies like Samsung, and fingerprint sensor technology to computer makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc.
According to a Reuters report, at the time of acquisition Apple also paid AuthenTec $7.5 million for some product development work. The report adds that according to agreement filed with regulators it hinted at the development of "a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product."
So there you have it : a fingerprint sensor made of sapphire could the biggest change to the iPhone.
Dual-Flash Camera: MacRumors also released pictures of an iPhone with a camera with dual-LED flash. The photograph showed two different coloured LED flashes next to the rear camera. Again this could just be prototype device but if Apple does release an iPhone with dual-LED it could lead to better white balance in photos. You could have the option of using the LED that matches the scene.
It's also be rumoured that Apple will finally offer a 12-or-13 megapixel camera. According to this report, Apple could use Sony's 13 megapixel sensor of its camera.
Design and Processor: It's highly unlikely that Apple will launch an iPhone 5S with 5-inch screen or even coloured shells. These could show up much later by next year but for now the iPhone 5S screen is likely to be 4-inch. The processor is likely to be the newer A7 chip according to MacRumors.
iPhone 5S is likely to have 1GB RAM like the iPhone 5.
The low-cost iPhone: This is one rumour that refuses to die, given that the China Labour Watch report talked extensively about how factory-workers at Apple supplier Pegatron were assembling these smartphones. The report said that, At this moment, in Shanghai, China, workers in Apple’s supplier factory Pegatron are monotonously working long overtime hours to turn out a scaled-back, less expensive version of the iPhone. What is not known is whether the device will make an appearance in September or later.
It is rumoured that the low-cost iPhone will have coloured shells and a plastic rear cover. According to a report in Apple Insider, the cheaper version of the iPhone is likely to come with an eight megapixel camera, the same A6 processor and 1 GB RAM as the current iPhone 5.
The report states that a picture of supposed “iPhone 5 Lite” or “iPhone 5C” rear camera was published on Thursday on Chinese site IT168. You can check out the Chinese report here.
According to a report in BusinessInsider, the low-cost iPhone will be called iPhone 5C. Apparently the C stands for colour. BusinessInsider has based this on secondary sources but is confident about the accuracy of the name.
Overall it doesn't look like Apple will be offering too many drastic changes with the iPhone 5S. Unless of course it also launches a cheaper version of the smartphone which could generate some serious competition for the Android army.