Apple rumours are plentiful even mid-product cycle let alone three days away from one of the most hotly anticipated iPhone launches in the devices storied six year run. The latest pretty much confirms that the next iPhone 5S will sport a fingerprint scanner.
When you get this close to a huge release the rumour mill normally laser focuses on the country of production, in this case China. After all, you can be as secretive as you like but ultimately in the smartphone with camera age that Apple themself did more than most to launch, keeping secrets is a pretty tough gig. So it’s little surprise that the latest rumours are focused on some grainy snapshots emulating from China.
In this case, we’re looking at some eagerly snapped shots of the iPhone 5S box, which features a tell tale silver ring around the iconic home button. It’s long being rumoured that the next iPhone will be the first smartphone to focus on fingerprint security and this seems to be the final confirmation. So far Apple have refused to confirm or deny the existence of such tech on the new iPhone, but that is certainly no surprise.
The silver ring surrounding the home button design was first broken by Clayton Morris, the prominent Fox News tech reporter. Citing anonymous sources, Morris described in detail the design around the home button, and Morris’ description fits with what we’re seeing here. Talking to TWIT, Morris described the finger print scanner; “From what I’ve understood [the fingerprint scanner is] gonna have a silver ring around it.”
The original grainy snapshots were tidied up by a Canadian tech site called iPhone on Canada. Having first appeared in Ctechcn, the Canadian site picked up clearer images off a Chinese social media website called Weibo.
It’s impossible to confirm the authenticity of the pictures but it does now appear that the iPhone 5S will have the long rumoured fingerprint scanner.
So what’s Apple’s thinking behind a fingerprint scanner?
The tech giants have a number of reasons to pursue such a hardware strategy. IPhone users are notorious for not using Apple’s 4-pin password protector. The average iPhone user reportedly checks their iPhone over 100 times per day, and for many the passcode is simply too time consuming. This has made the iPhone an even bigger target for thieves, who have taken to swiping the leading smartphone out of people’s hands in public places, such as outside the tube stations in London.
A finger print scanner immediately removes the need to have a passcode, as every user would defiant have protection, without the need to manually type in the code, or do anything different to normal for that matter.
Security is an ever bigger concern with the introduction of NFC and other contactless phone powered payment gateways coming to the mainstream soon. For smartphones to be the engine behind this movement, it’s widely accepted that security needs to step up its game.
Time will tell if Apple have come up with anything truly innovative that’s made possible by the introduction of such technology. Personalisation would be one area to look at, but phones are such personal decides that this would scarcely add any value.
We will keep you posted as new developments occur. If you don’t already hit the follow button below so we can keep you updated on Twitter as the news breaks.