Apple ‘iPhone 5S’ to feature sapphire crystal capacitive touch Home button with fingerprint sensor, says source

“The iPhone 5S could come with a sapphire crystal capacitive touch home button that incorporates a new fingerprint sensor, according to supply chain sources in Taiwan,” Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac.

“Apple is expected to do away with the traditional physical home button, which has long been one of the most unreliable components on iOS devices,” Bell reports. “It’s thought that using sapphire crystal, which has a hardness second only to diamond, will prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor.”

Bell reports, “Apple will employ a capacitive touch home button for the first time with the iPhone 5S, eliminating one of the most unreliable components in an iOS device (the physical home button has a tendency to fail after long periods of use).”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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  1. Unreliable home button?
    I’ve had an iPhone, every model year, since the original launch day.
    Of all the crap that breaks, or gets broken, the home button is one thing I’ve never had a problem with.

    1. Agree; and I doubt that Apple will part ways with physical “Home” button. They could easily get rid of it back in 2011 with iPhone 4S or last year with iPhone 5, but they did not. Because there is need for tactile feedback that only physical button can have.

      Also, whether the button is physical or not is totally irrelevant in regards of possibility of it containing a fingerprint sensor. It can easily move within the button itself when it is pressed and released.

      Finally, there is no need for sapphire glass when you use such fingerprint sensor. It is not like that this sensor is an optical system for photo camera where every micro scratch would get blown up to however many megapixels your photo is going to be. The more so those sensors were already demonstrated few times and obviously did not require sapphire glass whatsoever.

      In the end, while it is possible that iPhone 5S (or however it might be called) will contain the button as described in the article, it is unlikely since it makes no sense. Probably it is just usual tabloid made up rumour.

    2. After 2 iPods, several iPhones as well as numerous friends iPhones, the home button has consistently been the biggest source of problems for myself and those I know. I currently have an iPod that I have to use with the accessibility button option because the “geniuses” at apple couldn’t figure out it was a physical problem and not going to be fixed by a software upgrade. They have been extremely slow to admit that the button is a weak link on their phone. This should have been rectified with a soft button a long time ago.

      1. I’m on my third iPhone, 3,4 and 5 models, an iPad 3, two iPods, a 5G and a 6G, and an iPod Nano 3G, and only the iP4 shows any issues with its button, something that was amended on the 5, after it was admitted that the softer ‘click’
        mechanism had a flaw causing it to become intermittent. It was pointed out when the 5 was introduced that the Home button mechanism had been amended to the older 3/3G version. My 4, which I still use as an iPod and satnav in the car is showing hesitation at times when I use the Home button, but I love the ‘heft’, and solidity of it, and I wouldn’t want to replace it with anything other than a 4S.

      2. I too notice a difference between the iPhone 4 and 5. I find the 5’s click response to feel more certain. I’m also noticing the click response on my iPad 3’s home button to be degrading.

    1. Theres an App for that built in settings! I lost the home button on my iPhone 4. Found out you can replace the home button with a software button.
      settings/general/accessibilty/assistive touch.
      I like so much I have turned it on all of our IOS devices, really nice on the iPad

    1. At least they can now call it the iPhone 5S for a good reason. “S” is for Sapphire.

      PS – I’d like some emperical evidence that the home button is the most unreliable component on the iPhone.

  2. The home button on my 1st gen iPod touch stopped working a few years ago. The home button on my iPhone 5 doesn’t always make it’s connection even though I hear it — and it sounds pretty cheesy. My daughter’s iPhone 4 home button has been intermittent since shortly after the warranty ended.

  3. If you want to check to see what is a grand in failing apple parts just hang out and observe a Genius Bar for a bit, speakers, power buttons and home buttons the three big failure points, screens excluded since that’s a user breakage issue.

  4. It would be interesting if the fingerprint-security tech was ready for primetime in time for the next iPhone release. And I think replacing the home button with a touch button would probably be the best way to go. And no longer having a clickable physical button will also make using the home button more intuitive to use as a fingerprint scanner.

  5. I had a fingerprint device hooked up to my computer a couple of years ago. The problem is my fingerprints are so faint, they rarely registered. I have a lot of trouble in having fingerprints taken when applying for a job such as a census taker. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

  6. Sounds plausible. Never actually thought if the idea of placing a finger sensor in the home button. How ever, I don’t think there have ever been any worry over home button scratching. Scratching is the least of the problems with the iPhone. I actually don’t know why material the button is made of but the screen on the iPhone was selected to be made out if glass just because it does not scratch. It does crack, but not scratch.

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