Apple's iPhone 5S to bring the bling with sapphire home button and new gold flavour?

Apple's next flagship handset, potentially dubbed the iPhone 5S, could bring the bling in some new and exciting ways, if recent rumours are to be believed.

Drawing on a report by KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, fanboy portal 9to5Mac has it that the forthcoming device may sport a convex sapphire home button to help facilitate the integration of fingerprint scanning technology into the iPhone 5S.

It's thought that the a fingerprint sensor could be one of the new iPhone's 'killer features' as Apple looks to recuperate lost market share from Android.

Some of the ways that fingerprint scanning might be deployed include providing users with secure access to their device and Apple account, as well offering new possibilities for mobile payments and Passbook. The use of sapphire would also make the home key more durable.

Apple currently utilises a sapphire-coated lens on the iPhone's camera and Kuo added that he expects the next iteration of the famed handset to stick with an 8-megapixel sensor but make other notable imaging improvements.

Elsewhere, Japanese-language blog Macotakara has posited that the next premium iPhone - don't forget that Apple is also tipped to launch a budget iPhone, possibly dubbed the iPhone 5C or iPhone Light - could come available in a new flavour, 'Champagne Gold.'

In fairness, this rumour isn't quite as convincing as the talk of a redesigned home button, but if it does prove true it will be interesting to see if the ritzy colour refresh appeals to status-aware professional types.

However off-piste the bubbly-themed gossip is, it's worth remembering that Apple's recovery in the late-90s was partly kickstarted by the the iMac G3, which came available in the chichi 'Bondi Blue' flavour.

Apple is expected to launch its new iPhone on 10 September, according to the latest chit-chat.