New iPhone 5C Rumors: Gold Backing, With Fingerprint Sensors?

Leaked images of the alleged new iPhone's insides — plus a slip-up by the New York mayor's office — are causing the tech world to practically pee itself Monday. New leaks indicate that a) yes, the new iPhone will have a fingerprint scanner, thus stopping the phone from being unlocked by anyone but its user, and b) the phone will have a gold backing. Or champagne-colored, as they're calling it.

Gold, you say?!

Well, okay — that's a mock-up from Apple-rumor website iMore. But the rumors are based upon "multiple reports" by TechCrunch and other sources that the new iPhone will be available with a golden backing. Gold backings are likely to prove popular in the international market (where they like things shiny) and are apparently already sought-after as an add-on for white iPhones.

Now, what about this fingerprint sensor, and why on earth is a mayor weighing in on it?

The mayor's office was commenting on the rise of iPhone thefts in New York City, and pointing out that Bloomberg's company, Bloomberg LP, utilizes technology that protects electronics with fingerprint locks (ie. "biometrics"). This increases cyber security, because only the user has access to her phone.

The mayor's press secretary said in an email to Politico: "All security is moving towards biometrics — even the next iPhone will have fingerprint security.”

Granted, he may have only read press speculation that the iPhone 5C (if that's even its name, though that's what's been suggested by more leaked photos) will include fingerprint technology.

Apple bought a company specializing in fingerprint-recognition technology last year for $350 million. Last week, a respected French tech blog leaked photos of the new iPhone's alleged interior — which appears to show a fingerprint scanner sitting right near a home button. (It looks like a lot of compressed metal to us, but you can see pictures here.)

What would it be like to have a fingerprint sensor built into the iPhone — and, if Apple's previous product development is any indication, built into iPads and even iMacs? Well, chances are the feature would also allow you to register other fingerprints who could unlock it — your best friend, family members, or significant other (sounds like the new relationship status-change to us). And of course, the new feature would certainly make it more difficult to break into an Apple product if you weren't the primary user, though probably not impossible.

Rumors aside, since Apple CEO Tim Cook has been slammed for abandoning the company's innovative edge, the new iPhone could be an attempt to reclaim the smartphone throne.

Which may also account for the gold thing.

The new iPhone is expected Sept. 10.

(Images: Flickr/Globochem, iMore)