iPhone Event: Rainbow Colors, Fingerprint Scanner, Two Models?

It's just like Christmas Eve!

On Tuesday, Apple will play "show and tell" with its annual batch of new phone releases. The company has kept as quiet as Santa Claus himself in regards to exactly what these releases will be, confirming nothing but the date and bunch of colored circles on the invitation. Though Apple typically releases computer and tablet products in the fall, phone reveals are generally saved for early September. As in, TODAY.

So, what to expect?

Two models, and a rainbow of colors.

The launch of two new models is all but confirmed: one, the 5S, will likely be an upgrade to the iPhone 5, and come in at least two new shades: champagne gold and graphite grey, plus the standard black and white. The camera flash will probably use two LED lights instead of one, making for a better photograph, and we know that Apple has patented a fingerprint scanner — meaning that, at some point, they'll probably integrate fingerprint-recognition technology into their products.

Will the technology be in this generation of iPhone? Maybe, maybe not — but if it is there, it'll be in the 5S. The 5C is a cut-price version, meaning that its technology will be less high-end. To this end, the iPhone 5S has been developed as a classy, high-end model, hence the gold, silver, and graphite.

About the iPhone 5C. The "C" is rumored to stand for "cheap," but considering that Apple is far too smart a company to brand any of its products "cheap," we're going to be the ones to dismiss that rumor. There are also suggestions that that it stands for "China", because a low-cost phone will mean big bucks in the Asian market — but Apple will sell all of its models globally, so there's no real motivation to name a model after a country in which it's especially popular.

What else might "C" stand for? Most likely "color," considering the models came in a range of rainbow shades. The low-cost range of phones (estimated at about $300 apiece, half of the price of the regular iPhone) have plastic backings, meaning that they have a lower-end feel that the iPhone. Still, developers are likely hoping that these features will be particularly popular in the Eastern market.

When will you be able to get your hands on these slices of joy? Given Apple's track record of releasing phones a week and a half after announcing them, this'll probably mean Sept. 20. Put it in your diary: "Get an iPhone Cheap." (We're kidding, but you see how that doesn't work, rumor-millers?)

Other iThings.

Tomorrow is likely to be a strict iPhone event, but there's always the possibility of upgrades or modifiers to already-existing Apple models. Both the iPad and iPad mini are due for an update: the Mini doesn't yet have a "Retina" display, unlike the iMac, MacBook and iPad models, so that one could be on the cards. Though the iPad is due an upgrade to third-generation, that probably won't come until October, as is typical of iPad announcements. (It's rumored to be smaller and thinner: get excited.)

There's also Apple TV, the content accessory you can use with all kinds of screens. It's not a TV, and it's not quite a television box — it's somewhere in between, and it, too, is due an upgrade. At $99, Apple TV is currently triple the price of Google's Chromecast, which came out in July and does essentially the same thing. In line with "keeping up with the Joneses" — or, one of the biggest companies in the world, in Apple's case — Apple might narrow down the price, and give it a wider variety of platforms. Remember, if there's one thing Apple doesn't like, it's being outdone.