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Rumour round-up ahead of Apple’s iPhone event

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iphone5entryApple is certain to unveil its new iPhones at a special media event in San Francisco early Wednesday morning (AEST) and the whole world will be watching.

And there has been no shortage of rumours this time out with the news all but revealed about the new premium iPhone 5S and an entry-level iPhone 5C.

Or is it? Exactly can we expect to see? Which of the rumours will be true?

Here’s the Tech Guide rumour round up and our take on the whispers that are certain, likely or possible.

iPHONE 5S

The name of the device simply follows Apple’s path in recent years – iPhone 3G – 3GS, iPhone 4 – 4S and iPhone 5 – 5S. Apple is a very consistent company when it comes to product releases like this and it is unlikely the new handset can be called anything but the iPhone 5S. CERTAIN

DESIGN

Outwardly the iPhone 5S will be virtually indistinguishable from the iPhone 5 and I can hear the sighs of relief from the case and cover manufacturers already. The only possible difference may be a dual flash beside the camera on the back instead of the single flash on the current iPhone. CERTAIN

There is rumoured to be a new gold/champagne colour option for the iPhone 5S. Picture: Macotakara

GOLD iPHONE

For a few years now the only choices you had when it came to iPhone colours was just black or white. There are strong reports that a new gold/champagne coloured iPhone will be offered this time out giving it an even more premium look and feel.

Other smartphone manufacturers including Samsung and Sony have offered other colours to their line-ups to broaden their appeal and Apple is likely do the same thing. LIKELY

FINGERPRINT READER

This has been one of the hottest rumours in the lead up to this week’s event. Reports indicate there will be a fingerprint reader embedded in the home button below the screen on the new iPhone 5S.

What has fuelled this speculation is the fact that Apple has recently acquired a fingerprint/biometric company called AuthenTec and it was putting that technology to use on the new device as an added form of security.

It was also rumoured this fingerprint reader would be covered in sapphire glass – said to be much stronger and scratch resistant than the current Gorilla Glass.

This reported fingerprint reader, apart from being used to securely lock and unlock the device, may also come into play when making mobile purchases. LIKELY

The mock-up of the iPhone 5C. Picture: MacRumours

802.11AC

After Apple released an updated Time Capsule router and the latest MacBook Air with the faster 802.11ac wi-fi standard we though it was an absolute certainty it will be onboard the iPhone 5S.

802.11ac is three times faster than the previous 802.11n standard and has longer range thanks to the 802.11ac routers’ beam forming technology that locks on to compatible devices instead of pushing out ever widening circles of coverage. CERTAIN

NFC

Short for Near Field Communication, NFC is the ability to instantly pair with a compatible device to form a connection.

It can be used to share content, pair with audio devices and to enable purchases through a linked app.

Apple is the only major smartphone manufacturer that is yet to deploy this feature and there is no solid evidence to suggest it will. But that’s not to say it won’t with the iPhone 5S.

As is typical for Apple, the feature may be adapted with a unique spin that Apple is capable of. And it might not even be called NFC.

Apple had the type of clout to introduce an all-new system that will only work with iPhones in a bid to make that the new NFC-like standard for things like mobile wallet transactions.

Whatever the feature is called it would be securely back up with the rumoured fingerprint reader to assure a safe connection. POSSIBLE

An alleged picture of iPhone 5C packaging

PROCESSOR

Apple doesn’t usually release an updated iPhone without an updated processor and the iPhone 5S will be no exception with the company’s own silicon powering the device.

The iPhone 5 had the A6 chip on board and we’ll hazard a guess the new one will be called the A7 aboard the iPhone 5S.

This will mean a faster performance with smoother graphics for apps and video playback. These enhanced features will make the iPhone 5S a serious pocket computer as well as a smartphone. CERTAIN

MEMORY CAPACITY

When the first iPhone was released six years ago memory capacities were a lot smaller before eventually expanding to the capacities we see today.

The 64GB capacity was only introduced with the iPhone 4 three years ago.

This time out with the iPhone 5S there is a strong suggestion we’ll be seeing a 128GB capacity device – likely to the gold/champagne iPhone 5S which, from all indications, is being positioned as the prestige product of the line-up.

This follows Apple decision to release a 128GB iPad fourth generation iPad so the chances of it being introduced into an iPhone are much higher. LIKELY

CAMERA

There is little doubt the camera on the iPhone 5S will have enhanced features including higher resolution, an improved dual flash and image sensor.

The iPhone is one of the most often-used devices for capturing images on the move so it’s a top-shelf hero feature.

iOS 7 will include the AirDrop feature which will make sharing photos even easier between iPhone 5S devices.

Resolution is reportedly looking to come in at the 13-megapixel mark to rival other handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Lowlight photography will also be improved as will the flash with dual LED to lighten up even the darkest scenes. CERTAIN

iPHONE 5C

The introduction of a more affordable entry-level iPhone has been one of the strongest Apple rumours ever.

For years Apple has missed out on the low-end market because their devices were priced for the higher end.

This has seen Apple’s profits in this category fall and market share drop to its lowest levels in three years falling even further behind Samsung – a company that, not surprisingly, offers a smartphone and tablet at every price point.

Apple has recognised this and will be making a bold attempt to take over the segment with the iPhone 5C.

The C in the name stands for colour with the device reportedly available in a number of colour with the boot up screen and wallpaper to match the colour of the product.

This will make the product even more appealing to the youth market that is typically a customer in this lucrative sector of the market.

Leaked images of the packaging suggest the devices will be housed in clear plastic cases so the colour of the iPhone 5C can be easily seen.

But the iPhone 5C obviously won’t have all of the same features as the iPhone 5S or else it would cannibalise sales of the premium product.

So what will be missing? The iPhone 5C will have an 5 or 8-megapixel camera and is unlikely to include Siri the voice-activated assistant.

It will also have a slower processor, probably only 16GB of internal capacity and will not be as thin as the iPhone 5S.

Expect it to be priced around $399 or $449. CERTAIN

iPHONE 4S DISCONTINUED

This iPhone product cycle will see the end of the line for the iPhone 4S – the last of Apple’s device with the older 30-pin dock connector.

The iPhone 5 will probably be retained with a lower memory capacity and sit between the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S.

With the iPhone 4S gone this means Apple’s entire line-up will all have the smaller Lightning dock connector. CERTAIN

OTHER PRODUCTS

There was talk of some other products being introduced with the most buzz around an iWatch, especially since the introduction of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch. We can’t see Apple sacrificing any attention away from the iPhone this time around. UNLIKELY

We’ll all find out exactly what Apple has in-store when the special event from company headquarters kicks off in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AEST).

Stay tuned Tech Guide for all of the Apple news and a link to the keynote address and product reveals.

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