Apple’s ‘iPhone 5S’ to feature convex sapphire home button with integrated fingerprint sensor

“When Apple launches its next-generation iPhone, the handset will likely carry a fingerprint sensor embedded into a slightly convex home button made out of sapphire, a major change to current designs,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“By using a convex home button instead of the familiar concave design, Apple will be able to make room for the much rumored fingerprint sensor without losing precious internal space, according to well-informed KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,” Campbell reports. “In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo says Apple is using sapphire because of its resilience to scratches, which will thus protect the fingerprint sensor embedded within.”

Campbell reports, “Kuo predicts the sensor’s inclusion will keep the iPhone well ahead of competing Android and Windows Phone handsets, possible presaging Apple’s entry into secure mobile payments… Further, the analyst sees Apple’s current one-button iPhone design as being an optimal fit for a fingerprint reader. With a single home button, consumers are less likely to be confused as to where to place their finger for scanning.”

Read more in the full article here.

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47 Comments

    1. I don’t know if I would quite go that far (or if you’re being sarcastic) but as long as Apple continues to innovate (in ways that Android can’t easily copy) I think people will see that value that Apple represents, and Android marketshare will continue to fall.

      1. Lets see if both sapphire button cover and convexity of it are accurate; doubtful on both counts — there are no convex sensors usually, and there is no need for sapphire in that type of sensor — even though possible.

  1. Add additional security with the fingerprint sensor und double the 3G talking time to 15 h and the iPhone 5S will be the perfect business phone. So Blackberry´s chance for a comeback will fade away soon.

  2. Vacation blocked at AT&T Mobility starting September 12th. Some departments blocked until the end of the month; other departments vacation blocked into October.

  3. Sounds great but I don’t want the NSA to have my fingerprint. They must be drooling over the possibility and if it’s feasible to grab the fingerprint off the phone they will have it. Probably already written into the firmware, a function like “Report fingerprint when you get cell broadcast message FPNow”.
    Apple can’t protect my data, my email or my messages, what hope is there for this…
    No thanks

    1. Right, best stay with Android, rock-solid security. Or Blackberry, sure to be around forever. Or Windows phone, trust is their middle name. Two tin cans connected by a string is another solution, although conference calls could be dicy.

    2. No need to worry, neither the NSA or any other government entity has any interest in the actions of mentally deficient droolers such as yourself. You basement dwelling troglodytes are safe from their scrutiny since you’re all mouth and no action.

        1. That’s an article about how the über-encrypted email service used by Snowden had probably served with a National Security Letter. Recipients can’t disclose they’ve been served by one.

          I absolutely-f*&king-gaurantee that the “gummint” doesn’t give a holy rip about what’s going on in your head.

          1. That’s what it’s about – Yay, you can read. What it means is that private conversations are no longer allowed.
            NSA surveillance data is already being used by the DEA and the IRS, usage of the information will only expand.

    3. What evidence do you have to support anything that you’re saying? iMessage can’t be cracked (at least not yet) and do you know of any instance of Apple surrendering YOUR data? Email?

      If not, you’re being paranoid (which I am not necessarily saying isn’t justified, but why you single out Apple is a bit strange).

        1. I read Bruce Schneier’s article, though I wonder if you did. What he makes a point of is that, since the protocol isn’t known, he doesn’t know for certain that iMessage is secure.

          In other words, he never says that it isn’t only that he can’t verify it at this point.

          Besides, the government could always request for a company to turn over certain information, though that doesn’t mean – at least in the case of Apple – that they are turning over encryption keys, as opposed to certain data being unencrypted.

          Which is a HUGE difference.

      1. Rule #1: Anytime someone says something can’t be done, fasten your seat belt because it’s about to be done. For reference, see:

        1. Titanic
        2. Roger Maris’ home run record
        3. Man on the Moon
        4. iMessage can’t be broken by NSA (challenge accepted)

        1. Doesn’t at all mean that it has. Point taken, as far as your examples are concerned, though.

          But that’s the way it is with anything. I heard from somewhere in my travels that is someone wants to steal from you badly enough, they are going to find a way to do it.

          That being said, I don’t leave my doors open despite that. iMessage encryption – as far as anyone is aware – works.

          I’ll worry about the Titanic, Roger Maris, men on the moon and thieves when it becomes necessary to do so

    4. Jeez, Mac Hack. Do you think that every time you swipe your credit card your home address and billing information is transmitted through that little button-studded swipey thing?

      Your fingerprint (thumbprint, “digit-print”, whatever you wanna call it) characteristics (geometric relationships of features) would be digitized and stored inside your iPhone. Once authenticated by your iPhone that you are in fact you, then a huge, encrypted authentication code is transmitted—just like when you buy something online with Amazon or on iTunes.

    5. Well, if you imagine that Apple can’t protect your data, emails or messages from the NSA, then it’s hardly going to make any difference if they have a sample of one finger/thumbprint, will it?

  4. This is consistent with what I was predicting on June 29th.

    With a fingerprint sensor combined with near-field communication and an iTunes-like credit card-card clearing service, Apple could skim something like 3.5% off of every transaction—only the merchant pays, not the consumer. It would be popular.

    1. In Australia c/card charges can be passed on to consumers. Generally big companies don’t and the struggling small businesses do. Non credit ie EFTPOS fees can have their flat rate (usually 50c) added on to.

    2. “Apple could skim something like 3.5% off of every transaction—only the merchant pays, not the consumer.”

      Greg the 3.5% will be passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices for goods. Then everybody pays that price whether they are using credit cards, Apple’s clearing service, or cash. It already is occuring with the charges that Visa, MC, etc. charge. It’s like taxes, they area a cost of doing business and are therefore figured into the price of whatever good or service is being purchased.

      1. No it won’t. It will work just like a credit/debit card does now: Merchant pays the fee, but merchant is guaranteed payment. So Apple will pay the merchant, minus the fee. Or the merchant has already paid the fee and just scans your Passbook app (see Starbucks’ app), you just reload when you need to.

    3. No NFC. That adds unnecessary chips to the iPhone, which reduced battery life and space Apple wants to use for other things.

      Plus, NFC is not needed. Just have fingerprint access to Passbook, turn your phone around and scan it. Works brilliantly, and merchants already have barcode scanners. No need for them to buy NFC terminals.

      NFC is dead before it even began. Leapfrogged.

    1. I don’t buy the convex button: it doesn’t let Apple claim the thinness award, plus a convex button has a much smaller surface area that your finger would actually contact. Rather, a flat button to maximize surface area, perhaps made of a different material to feel different, but not convex.

      I actually think Apple will do away with the physical Home button and replace it with a sensor/touch screen. This would remove the hardware necessary for a moving physical button and also provide a larger area for a fingerprint scanner.

  5. If it’s true and works well I will be happy Apple is continuing to innovate.

    But I wish then when Apple innovates it will MARKET it and use it SELL and BUILD APPLE’S IMAGE.

    apple spent a huge amount of effort in the last iMac, supposedly it was advanced glass bonding process etc to make it so thin, and speculation was that it was so revolutionary and hard to manufacture it caused months of delay for the imac to go on sale…

    but after all that PAIN and EFFORT, apple DOES NOT MARKET IT. I don’t see a single imac ad. NOBODY except die hard apple fans know that the new imac was has so revolutionary manufacturing etc. (most on the street think INCLUDING all the sales staff at Big Box Retailers I’ve met thinks it’s the same as the model two years ago … ).

    Apple doesn’t market most of it’s hard won (billions of bucks in R&D, manufacturing ramp ups) for the last few years.

    another Example:
    NO OSX Mt. Lion is way better than Turd Windows 8 …
    (ask the general population including the aforementioned big Box sales staff what is the difference between OS x and Win 8 and they will say : there is NO difference except one only runs on macs.. )

    All we get from apple marketing is some insipid ” plenty of people take photos on iPhones’ ad (Every non apple fan I know DO NOT GET THAT AD. they say “but my android can take photos too, what’s the big deal… ? ” ) there ARE advances to the iPhone camera but that ad is NOT CLEAR and doesn’t tout those advances, it basically just shows people taking random photos…

    so apple by all means innovate, Great!
    but with stock fallen from 700 and continually hammered by the (idiot) press that ‘apple has lost its innovation ability to Samsung’ etc

    PLEASE MARKET and TOUT your ‘paid – for – by – blood’ advances… otherwise the idiots will say an extra half inch of screen on the next android phone is the real innovation…

  6. Nice feature, but will a single iPhone be able to store more than one thumbprint?
    I am always handing my iPhone to my daughters letting them play their games on it or use it for their social apps.
    Making them hand the phone back to me every time the screen goes to sleep could get annoying.
    And before you ask, yes, I trust my daughters.

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