iPhone fingerprint scanner? We'll find out Sept. 10

Apple sends out colorful invites to an event at its Cupertino headquarters as rumors of an iPhone fingerprint scanner swarm the Internet.

Alfredo Sosa/ The Christian Science Monitor/ File
Customers descend the glass staircase at the Apple store in Boston. Apple will unveil the new iPhone 5S on Sept. 10.
A look at the new iPhone home screen for Apple's forthcoming iOS 7.

It's official: Apple will be unveiling something new on Tuesday, Sept. 10. What is it? That's for Apple to know, and the Internet to guess.

Members of the media were mailed invitations to the event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The party kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Sept. 10. The invitation features a cluster of brightly colored circles surrounding the white Apple logo and reads: “This should brighten everyone’s day”. 

Though mysterious words and candy-colored designs don't disclose anything concrete, online rumors and reported leaks hint at two redesigns of the iPhone. One could launch Apple into emerging markets. The other may put Apple back on the cutting edge of smart phone technology.

It is widely believed that Apple will release an iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5C is rumored to be a cheaper version of the iPhone made with a plastic back offered in a variety of colors. The ‘C’ presumably stands for ‘color,' and the rainbow-colored circles on the invitation have further fueled these rumors. The iPhone 5S is expected to include fingerprint scanner technology, which may eliminate the need for passwords and a lockscreen. It is also expected to include a champagne color option and a dual-LED flash option for taking photos in low light.

The 5C and 5S are also expected to be the first iPhones equipped with the mobile operating system iOS 7. The system, launched in June, showcases a flat, simple design with clean lines and light font, all with the goal of "bringing order to complexity," says Jony Ive, the head designer at Apple. iOS 7 also includes the new iTunes Radio which uses an algorithm to cater to a listener's music tastes. The new music service could give Pandora and Spotify a run for their money.

A cheaper iPhone, such as the 5C, could bring Apple further into emerging markets where it has struggled in the past. The iOS 7 design overhaul is also a major switch from the previously 3-D, primary-color oriented app design, characterized by skeuomorphs, which are interfaces designed to look like their physical-world predecessors. For example, Apple's current 'Notes' app looks like a yellow, lined notepad. However, both new models would likely offer the same features as the iPhone 5, the most recent Apple smart phone.

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