Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to make a huge comeback with its upcoming iPhone iteration, unofficially dubbed the “iPhone 5S,” which will reportedly come with a “killer feature.” But what could it be?
There have been multiple reports of late, suggesting that the sixth-generation iPhone will carry a built-in fingerprint sensor that will help the device owners use their fingerprints instead of passwords. So is it going to be the 'ultimate feature' that could make the iPhone 5S kill its rivals? Well, an industry analyst thinks so.
According to analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, what the voice-recognition technology Siri was for the iPhone 4S, the widely-rumored fingerprint sensor or scanner technology will be for the iPhone 5S. Based on a meeting with a component supplier in a tour of China and Taiwan, White has revealed in a research note that Apple is going to use the fingerprint scanner in both the iPhone 5S and the iWatch for "essential security purposes.”
The analyst has said the implementation of the new technology “will open up other opportunities for Apple, specifically the ability to enable credit card payments,” Apple Insider reports.
White believes that being a defining feature of the iPhone 5S, a secure fingerprint scanner could turn out to be the main selling point of the new handset. He has further added that the device is likely to be released in July.
Rumors surrounding a future iPhone getting the fingerprint sensor are nothing new. It was KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who first said earlier this year that the iPhone 5S would integrate a fingerprint sensor into the traditional home button. Referring to Apple’s buy-out of smart sensors maker AuthenTec in July 2012 for $356 million, Kuo said the particular acquisition by the iPhone-maker would pay off this year with the release of its next smartphone edition.
A built-in fingerprint sensor can go hand in hand with applications like Passbook to improve their functionality. It will enhance the security and authentication of the user’s boarding passes, tickets and other Passbook items. In addition, Apple has also filed for a number of patents related to mobile payment – the iWallet solution for future NFC-enabled iPhone is the most significant one to be cited here.
Does iWatch Join The Bandwagon Too?
Apart from the iPhone 5S, White talks about another future iDevice that could also get the fascinating fingerprint scanning technology. According to him, the highly-rumored “iWatch,” which he expects to be released this year, will also be able to read users’ fingerprints.
White says that he has found "early signs of movement in the supply chain” that signals ramped up production of a device like the iWatch.
Meanwhile, Apple is reported to soon begin production of the iPhone 5S this quarter. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the new iPhone model will look similar in size and shape to the existing iPhone 5. However, it will sport a faster processor, better display and an improved camera.
Rumors are also rife about the 2014 model of the flagship smartphone, presumably called the “iPhone 6.” According to reports, the iPhone 6 will be powered by an A7 chip that will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., and not Samsung.