The Latest Apple Rumor Roundup

Three sizzling new rumors have come in about the "exciting new products" Apple CEO Tim Cook promised the world last Tuesday. The company has been taunted of late for losing its innovative edge, but will these new products get Apple its street cred back? Well, you decide...

The iPhone 5C.

A low-cost, plastic-backed iPhone model has been anticipated for a while — but Apple, as per usual, has been shooting down all claims it's in production. This week, leaked photos emerged of a box of retail packaging emblazoned with 'iPhone 5C.' According to the generally-reliable folks over at MacRumors, the packaging indicates the phone will come in several different colors.

Another photo has been leaked of a series of rainbow-colored iPhone backs, a rumor which has also long been in the works about the low-cost iPhone. And iPhone 5C covers are now being sold on Amazon.

Fake iPhone photos have been "accidentally leaked" before, but controversial documents about alleged poor working conditions in Chinese worker factories seem to confirm that these models are in production. (You can read the PDF of the 60-page document from Chinese Labor Watch here.)

Fingerprint recognition technology for the iPhone 5S.

When the iPhone 4S introduced Siri to the world, said world was pretty underwhelmed. And while Apple hasn't confirmed the existence of an iPhone 5S as a successor to the 5, an English coder says he's found proof that Apple is introducing fingerprint recognition technology.

The technology would theoretically stop the phone from being used by anyone else's fingers. This could be promising for the epidemic of iPhone robberies, as the technology might allow the primary user to be the only one capable of unlocking the phone. (And you'll never get your Facebook and Twitter hacked again! What will Amanda Bynes and Miley Cyrus use as excuses now?)

This bunch of code apparently holds secrets:

According to coders that understand the language, this can be roughly translated into "proof of support for fingerprint recognition."

The iWatch.

We told you a while back that Apple was reportedly considering jumping into the smartwatch game, but this weird news seems to confirm it: a top Apple exec, Bob Mansfield, has been removed from his post. An Apple spokesman said that Mansfield hadn't left the company, but was instead working on a "special project" and reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Word on the street is that Mansfield is working on the iWatch with a special team, and that the smartwatch — which might look something like the lock screen on the iPhone — is Apple's "next big major product."

We're excited about all these leaks, but kind of concerned for whoever's doing the leaking. When an employee at a Taiwanese electronics factory lost a new iPhone while it was in his care and the prototype leaked, he jumped from a 12th-floor window. Yes, seriously.

(Images: ZDNet/NowhereElse/WeiPhone, 9to5Mac, )