Apple's iPhone 5S will almost certainly come in a gold or champagne finish, multiple sources have confirmed with insiders familiar with the next-gen iOS 7 flagship smartphone, describing the finish as "elegant" rather than gaudy. After reports over the weekend of a new color option for the iPhone 5S alongside the existing black and silver, and chatter of leaked parts earlier this month, now AllThingsD claims its moles have told it to "think champagne, not ingot" about the third hue, which will be paired with a white fascia. However, the gold iPhone 5S isn't solely about a new color, with long-standing talk of fingerprint biometrics expected to culminate in a new push for smartphone security in iOS 7 and beyond.
Along with further confirmation on the gold iPhone, 9 to 5 Mac weighs in with extra detail on the fingerprint scanner potential for the new handset. Spotted at various times in iOS 7 beta code, the biometric lock functionality will be integrated into a "home" button little different to the casual glance from the existing key, it's said.
Apple has supposedly been testing the functionality with an external scanner, rather than as part of prototype hardware, hence the shortage of leaked reports about how the system actually performs. However, those in the know say that the technology works well, and that Apple expects it to have a marked impact on the number of people who bother to PIN-secure their device.
Although opinions on the tastefulness of gold smartphones have varied, the new finish could give Apple an advantage in one of the key growth markets the company - among others - has identified. China has an appetite for gold finish handsets, and it's speculated that the third color could be an attempt to curry favor in the country.
Meanwhile, 9 to 5 Mac suggests that those with existing Apple devices should perhaps get ready to upgrade if they want new versions of iOS beyond the upcoming release later this year. According to whispers from inside the engineering teams, the overall experience on the iPhone 4 is causing some sleepless nights, with the three year old handset struggling to deliver the sort of usability owners might expect.
As for the iPad, its iOS 7 update may be staggered until later in 2013, it's hinted, with Apple said to be at least considering holding off on the release until late September or October. Development of the iPad version began later than the iPhone iOS 7 build, with Apple pulling in extra coder support so as to meet its WWDC preview deadline.
The iPhone 5S is expected to be shown off officially for the first time on September 10, though recent leaks have tipped not only a refreshed smartphone but the possibility of new iPads at the same event. Long-standing chatter has pegged an iPad refresh sometime in Q4 2013, though until now that was believed to be scheduled for a later event, perhaps in October which would make it a year following the original iPad mini reveal.
Earlier today, what's said to be a new full-sized iPad 5 panel was pictured alongside a supposed iPad mini 2 panel, though as with all Apple rumors the legitimacy of the information can't be confirmed.