Save for a new golden paint job, the iPhone 5S is expected to look largely similar to the iPhone 5 that's currently available on store shelves. It's rumored that Apple has a few changes in store for the internals of the 5S, though, and one of the biggest question marks surrounding the device is whether or not a fingerprint scanner is on the company's list of additions.
Sources speaking to 9to5Mac claim that a fingerprint scanner is indeed coming to the iPhone 5S. The tipsters say that the scanner will be placed on the Home button and that it's working well in early testing.
While fingerprint scanning capabilities have previously been hinted at in iOS 7 beta code, there hasn't been much in the way of concrete evidence that the feature will be included with the next iPhone, which today's report explains is due to the fact that Apple initially tested the scanners using an external cable system.
The placement of the fingerprint scanner in the final hardware isn't expected to alter the 5S's Home button all that much, though it's possible that the button could be slightly shinier. Consumers are also expected to have the option of disabling the fingerprint scanner in the iOS Settings menu.
Both 9to5Mac and AllThingsD have also added support to the rumors of a gold iPhone 5S. The device is expected to sport an "elegant" gold color that's described as being close to champagne, just like last night's report suggested. Both the back plate of the unit and its chamfered sides will be covered in a gold color, while the front of the unit will be white.
Rounding out the hardware news, a new report from the Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will ship two new iPhone models in "early September." The publication's sources say that Apple has told Hon Hai, its assembly firm, to start shipping both a high-end and low-end smartphone early next month. That suggests that the devices could go on sale in September as well, just like the iPhone 5 did last year.
Also on tap today are a couple of software rumors. 9to5Mac has been told that the iPad version of iOS 7 is running behind at Apple and that, while no decisions have been made yet, the Cupertino firm could separate the rollout of iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. Apple is rumored to be planning an event in October for new iPad hardware, so it's possible that the tablet-friendly version of iOS 7 could roll out after that.
Finally, the report mentions that Apple is working hard to ensure that iOS 7 for the iPhone 4 runs smoothly and that this may be the last major iOS release that the iPhone 4 receives. Apple is also said to have started development on iOS 8, though details on that software remain slim.
Apple has yet to officially announce its next iPhone or anything related to it. However, several reports have emerged recently that suggest that Apple is planning to unveil the next iPhone (along with its lower-cost companion) at an event on Sept. 10. That's less than a month away, and so if that date holds up, it shouldn't be too much longer before invitations from Cupertino begin hitting inboxes. Stay tuned.