By Binu Paul email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mar 12, 2013 10:17 AM EDT
The latest in the series of rumors about the next-generation iPhone has it that Apple will likely include a fingerprint sensor and a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip in its upcoming iPhone 5S.
Apple has apparently selected the Taiwanese chip firm Chipbond Science and Technology as its component partner to build touch display drivers as well as chips to support NFC capabilities, the Apple Insider reports (via China Times). Apple has apparently started stocking components for the iPhone 5S during the second quarter of this year and the device is expected to arrive in mid-to-late 2013.
Fingerprint sensor and NFC chip for mobile payments will reportedly work in tandem to enable users to effortlessly authorize a transaction with their fingerprint.
This rumor, however, is not a surprise as a reliable predictor of Apple's future product pipeline, Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities had claimed the same earlier this year. Kuo believes that Apple will feature a built-in fingerprint sensor with an improved camera and more powerful A7 system on a chip in its next flagship smartphone. He expects Apple to release iPhone 5S sometime in June or July and according to Kuo, the new version will share a similar design aesthetic as the iPhone 5.
Kuo visualizes the iPhone 5s to place the fingerprint sensor to reside under the home button and as Apple Insider notes, "users will simply place their thumb over the button when prompted, and the identity of the user can be verified for various tasks such as entering passwords or authorizing purchases."
Apple's efforts to bring fingerprint scanner onto its future devices was first noticed when the company acquired the mobile security firm AuthenTec last year. "The $356 million acquisition was reportedly focused on the company's "Smart Sensor" component, which measures just 1.30 millimeters thick but can scan 500 pixels per inch," the report states.
It was heavily rumored last year that Apple would bring NFC technology to its iPhone 5, especially with the debut of Passbook in iOS 6. However, a later report suggested that the handset's design wouldn't even accommodate an NFC antenna. Apple is speculated to deploy NFC within the metal case of the device, which is likely to be iPhone 5S' case as well.
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