iPhone 5s: Once again Apple leaps ahead with Touch ID fingerprint recognition; a big enterprise win for Apple

“Security is one of the leading features in Apple’s latest model iPhone, the 5S,” Jenn Strathman reports for WPTV.

“Technology guru Alan Crowetz of Infostream said biometrics are the future,” Strathman reports. “‘People can knock Apple in some area, but they really are ahead engineering wise. It’s very common for them to have technology where they’re just suddenly a leap ahead of everybody else,’ Crowetz explained.”

Strathman reports, “‘If Apple’s is just as shaky as all the other products we’ve seen I don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet. If it comes out and hits it out of the park, you can bet there are going to be a lot of companies anxious to catch up,’ Crowetz explained. The iPhone 5S will be available September 20th.”

Read more in the full article here.

“While consumers will undoubtedly benefit from the ease and convenience of using a fingerprint reader as opposed to having to tap in their passcode to unload their iPhones, the real market that benefits from this are enterprise buyers and BYOD,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “”

“IT admins are always worried about security (or at least they should be), and while the iPhone, like its Android counterparts, allows for remote wiping of devices, biometric protection takes iPhone security to the next level,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “No more having to worry that about someone watching over your shoulder when you enter your passcode because with the iPhone 5s passcodes will become a thing of the past.”

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “Because Touch ID is only available on the flagship iPhone 5s, Apple is putting a premium price tag on biometric security. Users of the lower-priced iPhone 5c are left out in the cold when it comes to Touch ID, which is a shame, but given that not much separates the iPhone 5c from the 5s in real, on the ground terms, Apple had to draw the feature line somewhere. You can have biometric security, but it’ll cost you.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack

Ooh, “it’ll cost you…” Muahahaha!

Yeah, the iPhone 5S costs $100 more than an iPhone 5C — or $4.17 per month over the life of a typical two-year contract or, in other words, a completely negligible amount if you’re actually able to buy and use a smartphone. If $4.17 per month means anything at all to you, you can’t afford a smartphone to begin with.

And, by the way, the iPhone 5s is separated from iPhone 5c in many ways: materials quality, the camera’s larger 8MP sensor with 1.5µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture, dual LED True Tone flash, Burst mode, Slo-mo video, Improved video stabilization, 64GB option, A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor.

Unless you’re allergic to aluminum and/or fine craftsmanship, there is no reason why anyone who can afford an iPhone would not buy an iPhone 5s (unless you’re buying a first iPhone for your son or daughter). Even then, if you want a bright polycarbonate phone or some feeling of extra protection from drops and dings, put a case on the 5s. The bulk of any smartphone cost is the data, not the phone.

[Note: I’ve expanded upon this take in the article “Why would anyone buy an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s?” Please click through to read and comment.]

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

    1. I agree that Apple has always been an innovator, although the Apple haters will disagree. Apple hasn’t always been first, but they have been best at taking a failing idea or technology, making it work properly, and mass producing it in a way that the masses love. That’s why I’ve been a fan for over 30 years.

  1. While I agree the cost differential is minimal to anyone who can actually afford to use the iPhone, I find myself drawn a bit to the colorful plastic shells on the 5C. I expect they’ll be a hit with young people.

    1. The wife loves the colors and cases of the 5C, as well as the curved backs (comfortable to hold). But I think she still likes the champagne 5S the most. Maybe that one, plus the champagne or blue colored leather case would be perfect.

  2. Lame…Lenovo laptop has it long ago and some others too. Apple just copy it and make it to the iPhone. Nothing new. And the colors are a copy from Nokia phones. Boring……..

    1. Apple copying Nokia? Surly you must be joking. Did Apple get bought out by M$? Does Apple make lame Windoze Phoneys that make Android look good by comparison? You best take your words back, or else.

  3. What I want to know..

    So if by any reason my Fingerprint won’t scan… (for the sake of argument lets just say it won’t)
    Can I put a Fingerprint ID *and* a long password as a backup? So if the finger won’t read, I can still type out a long password.

    I know the answer for now will be nobody knows until it’s in our hands.. But i’m curious. I probably won’t get mine until Nov/Dec depending on AT&T’s plans, but i’d hope Apple allows a backup password.

      1. Actually that screen was from the iTunes account.. you could use either that way.

        From a locked state, they always shown the unlock as Touch ID only if enabled..

        Cold affects those readers.. many other things could not allow finger to be read also, so I was curious if password backup was an option.

  4. “And, by the way, the iPhone 5s is separated from iPhone 5c in many ways: materials quality, the camera’s larger 8MP sensor with 1.5µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture, dual LED True Tone flash, Burst mode, Slo-mo video, Improved video stabilization, 64GB option, A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor.”

    Nuff said.

  5. I may be interpreting all this wrong, but it appears as though from the articles I’ve been reading, most of the smartphone industry sees the iPhone 5S as an instant failure and a biometric sensor as completely useless. As usual, the iPhone was seen as a huge disappointment because the display is the same size as it was a year ago. Whatever the world at large is expecting, Apple isn’t complying. As I’ve said before, besides a larger display, I don’t know what the tech-heads would expect Apple to put in an iPhone 5S that hasn’t already been done on an Android smartphone. What sort of hardware would consumers require at this point to say they have a much more useful smartphone? I really just don’t get it.

    Apple isn’t going to put removable storage or removable batteries in the iPhone, so apart from a larger display, greater battery life and possibly more memory, what would most of you need in an iPhone to make it a truly impressive piece of kit? But it also can’t impact profit margins to a large degree, either. Apple seems to be between a rock and a hard place as far as hardware expectations go.

    1. IBM laptops in the past had (and Lenovo may still have) finger print scanners built-in to them. I never met anyone who ever turned on that feature, or even knew how to do so.
      After viewing demonstration video, I KNOW that will not be the case with the new iPhone.
      It will be something like the Windows tablets of the past vs. the iPad when that finally came out. 🙂

  6. I know that it will remember more than one finger print. I hope it will also remember the finger prints of my wife and kids I choose to let use my iPhone.

    In a future update, it would be nice to give different security levels to my kids finger prints. Allowing them to, or not to buy apps/songs or use the credit card I may put into my iPhone in the future.

  7. There is one downfall to biometrics. Your fingerprint is unique and after its scanned it becomes nothing more than a string of data to the computer.

    Once that becomes compromised that thumb print is now useless for securing anything.

    Even if they obsfucate it or change the algorithms your unique thumb print “Id” will be the seed value in some form and its a perfect starting point for cryptanalysis.

    It could be the NSA’s greatest wet dream.

    Once someone has the digital version of your print they don’t need your thumb.

    Essentially you’ll be walking around with nothing more than a copy of your password on your finger.

    It changes very little from a security standpoint and actually makes some things easier from a cracking standpoint.

    1. “Once someone has the digital version of your print they don’t need your thumb.”

      Only they would play hell getting it from the iPhone. The data points that uniquely identify your fingerprint(s) are stored in nonvolatile memory inside the A7 processor. This memory has no accessibility, i.e., it cannot be read. All that can be done with it, once fingerprint data is stored within it, is to verify that new incoming fingerprint data from the sensor matches or not. And this verification is done internally within the A7 chip, and is not via some software running outside the chip in external memory, so the verification algorithms can’t be monkeyed with or bypassed. Add to this the fact that the fingerprint is actually read from beneath the skin (no photo-copies allowed) by reading the ridges and valleys of living tissue.

      I’m certainly satisfied that Mythbusters will fail at unlocking my iPhone.

  8. What I’d like to know is how long must your finger be pressed against the sensor before you can remove it. From the videos I’ve seen, someone’s finger is pressed against the sensor and they leave it there way passed the moment that the phone comes alive, so I can’t tell. Can you just tap it to unlock, or must you wait a half second to a second for it to read?

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