Apple sent out invitations today for an event next Tuesday, Sept. 10. The colorful invitation reads, "This should brighten everyone's day." The announcement appears to confirm two rumors: that the next iPhone will launch on that date, and that Apple will launch a low-cost iPhone 5C that will come in multiple colors. Plus, the top-of-the-line iPhone 5S is expected to come in a gold or champagne color as well as white and slate.
The event will be held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino and will start at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. It's not yet known whether the event will be live streamed. In the past, Apple has generally not live streamed events, but did stream the introduction of the iPad mini last November and the Worldwide Developers Conference this past June. If it's not live streamed, you can follow along via live blogs on many of the major iPhone websites.
To summarize: everyone is expecting Apple to announce an iPhone 5S, though that name is a guess. The phone will have the same form factor as the current iPhone 5, but with significant upgrades to the processor and camera (including a dual LED flash), as well as an innovative fingerprint sensor in the Home button for security.
The iPhone 5C is expected to have a polycarbonate body rather than aluminum, and will be just slightly thicker and larger than the iPhone 5. It will be sold at a lower cost, and will come in an assortment of five colors. Apparently, one impetus for this phone is the inability of people in emerging markets to afford the higher cost iPhone. This phone is expected to replace the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4. There were rumors that its price would be in the mid-range and that the iPhone 4S would continue to be sold as the lowest-cost iPhone.
The arrival of the new iPhones also means the arrival of iOS 7. So even if you aren't in the market for a new phone, you can share in the joy of getting a new look for your iPhone or iPad. Some rumors have said that iOS 7 will be available starting Sept. 10. I hope that's accurate. Likely, iOS 7 will also be demonstrated at the event.
The word from those with connections inside Apple is that no new iPads will be introduced next week. Instead, many are expecting the new models to be announced at a separate event in October.