USA TODAY - If you've noticed #iphonegold showing up all over Twitter, there's a good reason.
The Internet on Monday lit up over reports that the next iPhone, set for unveiling on Sept. 10, could be available in black, white and gold. If Apple does indeed launch a gold iPhone, it would be the first color added to the iconic device since its debut in 2007.
According to reports from TechCrunch and All Things D, gold will join black and white as options for Apple's next smartphone. Both reports claim the iPhone won't feature a gaudy gold, such as you might see on a gold bar, but more of a champagne color. The phone will have a white face with a golden tone on the backplate and edging.
Apple declined to comment.
The addition of gold would not be a big deal here, but "huge" in China, says Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies.
"The market is driven by colors, and gold means good luck," says Bajarin.
Apple is expected to introduce both a successor to the iPhone 5 and a lower-price, plastic iPhone for cost-conscious consumers at the September event.
The new iPhone is expected to have staple upgrades including a faster processor, stronger battery and improved camera. It could also include new fingerprint technology.
Apple purchased security firm AuthenTec in 2012, so Bajarin expects Apple to include AuthenTec's fingerprint technology in the new iPhone.
Because so many iPhones are either lost or stolen, and so much of our personal data live inside the phone, "Security is very high in consumers' minds right now," says Bajarin.
The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7, which will be released with the new iPhone, has a "death sentence" feature that lets the owner send a signal to the phone if it's lost, effectively turning it into a useless brick.
"The combo of the two is a killer," says Bajarin. Additionally, "Android doesn't have anything like it - not yet anyway."
Apple is under pressure in the smartphone market, especially from Samsung and other companies that make smartphones running Google's Android operating system. The security features could give Apple bragging rights over features Androids don't currently have.
Not to be outdone, rival Samsung is hosting an event Sept. 4 where it is not only expected to unveil the next Galaxy Note smartphone, but could also unveil a new smartwatch, according to a Bloomberg report.
Yet another new huge phone from Samsung, the "Galaxy Mega," goes on sale Friday at AT&T stores for $150 with a 2-year service contract. The screen is 6.3 inches diagonally, making it almost as big as a small tablet.
(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)