Apple sends out invites for September 10 iPhone media event

Apple invite (September 10 2013)

The months of speculation, rumor mongering, crystal ball peering and analyst predictions are almost over as Apple on Tuesday confirmed there will be an iPhone-related special media event taking place come next Tuesday.

The Apple PR folks have just treated a cherry-picked group of journos to the official invitation for the forthcoming September 10 event.

The high-profile press conference will be held at the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters at 10am Pacific / 1PM Eastern. The invite graphics shows colorful circles behind the Apple logo, set against the all-white flattened background and adorned with the tagline which simply reads, “This should brighten everyone’s day”.

As per usual, the invitation’s design has prompted a scavenger hunt for subtle hints and hidden meanings so do fell free to join the game down in the comments…

Apple has not specified whether it will live stream next Tuesday’s event.

For the record, the last time Apple invited journalists to its Cupertino headquarters was for the iPhone 4S unveiling back in October 2011. The building served as the venue for past Apple product launches as well, like the 2010 Unibody MacBook reveal and the new iPods.

On top of that, Apple’s headquarters were used for Steve Jobs’s Antennagate press conference where free iPhone 4 bumpers were announced.

The allegedly strictly iPhone-focused event should see a rumored S-upgrade, the iPhone 5S, along with a rumored budget iPhone, the iPhone 5C. Despite Tim Cook’s doubling down on secrecy, a myriad of leaks have been increasingly coming our way in the run-up to the big reveal.

iPhones (iPhone 5, graphite gold iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C)
Left to right: black iPhone 5, graphite iPhone 5S, gold iPhone 5S and white iPhone 5C.

The iPhone 5S should adopt the two-tone design of its predecessor, the current-generation iPhone 5, but with a dash of freshness in the form of colorized casings that may include a graphite and gold/champagne colorway.

Typical for Apple’s mid-cycle phone upgrades, the iPhone 5S should keep customers interested by offering a faster A7 chip, a new 128GB storage flavor and iSight camera improvements stemming from a 12 or 13-megapixel CMOS sensor, improved night shooting and super slow motion video capture at 120 frames per second.

iPhone 5S (gold, two-up, left angled)

The handset’s killer feature should be fingerprint scanning, stemming from last year’s acquisition of Israeli smart sensor maker AuthenTec for the reported $356 million.

According to the rumor-mill, fingerprint scanning will permit users to authenticate themselves into the handset – perhaps even their apps and websites – just by holding their finger over the sapphire-covered Home button.

iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor (KGI Securities 001)

On top of killing passwords, the feature should bolster up the iPhone’s security and pave the way for a rumored transactional mobile payment service from Apple. As for the elusive budget iPhone, it too will come in a range of vivid colors, but don’t count on the $99 off-contract pricing Reuters speculated.

Blue iPhone 5C packaging closeupPurported iPod touch-style iPhone 5C packaging.

Instead, analysts are expecting a mid-range device priced between $400 and $500 unsubsidized, though a two-year contract should reduce the upfront payment to $99. The best way to describe the iPhone 5C: it’s an iPhone 5 redesigned around the cheaper (and more scratch resistant) polycarbonate plastic casing.

Both handsets are expected to go on sale ten days later, on September 20, in the United States, UK, Canada, Japan and other key international markets. On the other hand, Apple is thought to be releasing iOS 7 for public consumption right after it wraps up next Tuesday’s press conference.

iPhone 5C (green, back, top, Martin Hajek 001)

Several well-informed analysts have predicted a blockbuster Fall for Apple.

It’s fairly possible the company could slip in a few other surprises and product upgrades, including a Haswell-powered iMac refresh and a faster 802.11ac edition of the AirPort Express wireless appliance.

Indeed, both US Apple Stores and third-party retailers such as Best Buy are now seeing a diminishing stock of the AirPort Express and iMacs, according to AppleInsider.

So, the new iPhones…

Having you been able to discern anything else from the invite graphics apart from the obvious hints at white, yellow, green, red, blue, purple, orange, pink and gold iPhones (where’s graphite, though?)

Invite graphics via The Loop.