“When Apple launched the iPhone 5s last year, one of the key differentiating features was the integrated fingerprint reader known as Touch ID,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “Much to the disappointment of many Apple customers, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display that launched following the iPhone 5s didn’t sport Touch ID. But this year’s iPads should pack this key feature. Here’s why Apple was absolutely brilliant for putting off Touch ID for iPad until 2014.”
“Back in 2013, one of the key concerns surrounding Apple’s Touch ID was that it was difficult to get these touch sensors to yield well. Of course, as Apple and its foundry partner (in this case, Taiwan Semiconductor) is cited as the manufacturer of Touch ID) learn how to build these things better, the yields go up, and the cost per unit comes down,” Eassa writes. “This is a plausible explanation, and it is very likely that it was one of the key driving factors behind the deferral of Touch ID for iPad until the 2014 models, but there’s another reason that Apple likely wanted to hold off that makes even more sense in the context of the current competitive environment.”
“When Apple releases the next generation iPad Air this year, it will likely look very similar to this year’s iPad Air, perhaps with a few tweaks to the industrial design here and there. Internally, one should expect that the next generation iPad Air should be much faster, but the difference that will have a big impact on usability will be the Touch ID. Indeed, as iOS 8 now exposes Touch ID via an API to app developers, the uses for Touch ID across a multitude of apps are set to explode, and an iOS device without Touch ID will feel distinctly lacking from one with Touch ID,” Eassa writes. “By putting off Touch ID for the iPad until this year, Apple was able to ensure that it could waterfall a strong product [the 2013 iPad Air] to the $399 price point while still having an obvious differentiating factor to try to upsell customers to the $499 flagship.”
Read more in the full article here.