Apple is gearing up for what will be a busy time for its retail stores and support staff. According to a report from AppleInsider, vacations for AppleCare employees are largely blocked from September 15 through September 28. Apple's new iPhones and iOS 7 are expected to be announced on September 10 in San Francisco, with shipments of the products beginning around September 20.
Camera: Probably the most important feature for the consumer is a better camera. The latest speculation on the camera claims it will get a larger f/2.0 aperture (that would match the HTC One) with dual LED flash. If accurate, that aperture would be significantly larger than the iPhone 5's. That means more light gets through, improving image quality and low-light performance.
Fingerprint scanner/reader in the home button: That technology is likely coming from AuthenTec, a fingerprint sensor technology company that Apple acquired last year. The larger point is the iPhone 5S may mainstream biometric technology, improving electronic payments and making it easier to get music and sensitive data from the cloud.
Chips: A 128GB flash storage option is the freshest speculation. That seems like overkill for most consumers, but then 16GB seemed like a lot when the iPhone 3G came out. An updated processor, Apple's A7, is also expected. The most salient (rumored) feature is that it's 64 bit. And, remember, the iPhone 4S got the new A5 processor when it was released in October 2011.
New 3G/4G standard support: Versions of the 5S (and 5C) may support China's 4G TDD-LTE standard. That could mean a huge boost in market penetration in China (and global market share) for Apple. (That support may also include China's TD-SCDMA.)
iOS 7 is not expected to have much change in terms of functionality, but the look and feel of the operating system is getting a complete overhaul.
Discuss Apple support personnel vacations blocked Sept. 15-28