What will Tuesday's big Apple announcement bring? The odds makers have their money on Apple unveiling two new iPhones, the 5s and the 5c, at the event scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific Time, Sept. 10. The 5c is expected to be a lower-priced iPhone targeted in particular at the huge, growing market in China. Other expectations revolve around new color options and possibly a fingerprint scanner for identity management.
The 5c's price is not yet known, but some analysts are predicting it could be under $250. The new model is also expected to have a plastic casing available in several bright colors, as suggested by Apple's press invitation for the event. The invite, pictured above, shows a variety of colored circles around the famous Apple logo and the words "this should brighten everyone's day."
The 5s is also expected to come in a variety of color options, such as gold, aluminum or graphite gray to add to the current options of black or white. Other improvements reportedly will include a larger battery and an improved camera flash.
There has also been much discussion that a fingerprint scanner could be integrated into the iPhone's home button to enhance identification of the device's owner.
Last week, a patent application that Apple had filed in Europe for a fingerprint sensor was reported on the Web. The application includes specifications for a touch sensor that could also include near-field communication (NFC) technology, so that the same sensor could be used either for biometric identification of an individual or for the transmission and reception of NFC signals.
Potentially, NFC transactions could be conducted through the same circuitry that recognizes a user's fingerprint, thus adding an additional level of security to point-of-sale financial exchanges.
A beta version of iOS 7, released in July to developers, contained code for biometric scanning that handled fingerprint recognition from a left or right thumb. The code also included a tutorial section with a photo of a person holding the iPhone with their right hand "while touching the Home button with their thumb."
AuthenTec Identity Management
A year ago, Apple spent more than a third of a billion dollars to buy a company called AuthenTec, which provides fingerprint sensor and identity management technology for mobile devices, and for governments and networking companies. (continued...)