The next iPhone is almost upon us. The invitations should arrive any day now, especially if Apple plans to make good on the September 10 announcement date the blogosphere has all but set in stone through a series of leaks and rumors over the last few weeks.
The trick is separating the good rumors, leaks and observations from the ones that are just totally far-fetched. This year is more complicated than ever, though, with some of the wildest reports (like two new iPhone models, which would be a first for Apple) also being some of the most believable.
We already know the iPhone 5S will come running iOS 7, which is the biggest change to Apple’s mobile operating system since it first debuted on the original iPhone. It has a totally new look and lots of brand new features like AirDrop and Control Center. You don’t need to buy an iPhone 5S to get it, though – iOS 7 will also be compatible with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4.
But onto the speculation. If you’re placing your bets, we’ve collected the most likely iPhone 5S rumors out there in the graphic below (you can click each rumor for further information). There’s a good chance much of this speculation will turn out to be true – but I wouldn’t place all your money on the table unless you know something we don’t. And if you do, tell us.
Fingerprint sensor beneath a sapphire crystal home button
Apple has been expected to implement a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone since it acquired AuthenTec last year. By placing a fingerprint sensor under the home button, Apple can add a more advanced layer of security and do away with the “swipe to unlock” feature. The home button itself will likely be made of the same scratch-resistant sapphire crystal found on the lens of the iPhone 5.
Dual-flash camera with f/2.0 aperture
Apple is expected to stick with an 8-megapixel sensor, but increase the aperture to f/2.0 and add a dual-LED flash, which should improve low-light camera performance.
Gold iPhone 5S
In addition to black and white, all signs point to Apple introducing a gold color option for the iPhone 5S as well. Actually, make that champagne, as chocolate coin wrapper gold would be far too gauche for the notoriously refined Apple.
A new and improved processor is pretty much a given. The latest rumors point to a new 64-bit ARMv8-based A7 system on a chip (SoC) with 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which is expected to be 20 percent more efficient than the A6 chip in the iPhone 5.
128GB storage option
Apple released a 128GB iPad earlier this year, so a 128GB variant of the iPhone 5S is a distinct possibility. But with so many people streaming music and video, and storing documents in the cloud, this model is only for the most dedicated data users, and will be priced like it. If it follows Apple’s current pricing scheme, a 128GB iPhone 5S would cost $499 on contract.
Perhaps the biggest iPhone rumor isn’t about the iPhone 5S at all. Apple is expected to release a budget-friendly new device, the iPhone 5C, alongside the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5C is expected to feature a plastic build, come in a variety of colors, and take the place of the iPhone 5. It will have a 4-inch display and run iOS 7, but will likely use an older processor and camera.
Announcement and availability dates
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5S at a special event on September 10, and has reportedly already asked Foxconn to begin shipping phones early next month. That means the new iPhone should be available to consumers within a week and a half of the announcement, like usual.