French website nowhereelse.fr has published the most recent leaks about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5S device, which seem to support rumors that the new smartphone will have a fingerprint sensor on its home button to provide heightened security beyond a simple passcode lock.
The possible fingerprint scanner has been a main subject of the 5S rumor mill of late, but it has not been confirmed that the latest iPhone will be equipped with the technology. In July, Digitimes reported that production of the fingerprint sensors was putting Apple behind on manufacturing its shipments of the 5S, citing problems caused by the design of the chip as the reason production was falling short. More reports that Apple was facing difficulties producing the fingerprint chips have followed.
At that time, it was insinuated that Apple wouldn’t be able to have the device ready by its rumored September launch date. But now most analysts agree the new smartphone could be launched by September, although there are still a few persistent rumors that the phone won’t be ready until the end of the year.
According to the rumors, AuthenTec, a mobile and network security company Apple bought for $356 million last year, will be producing the fingerprint-detecting chips. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has been a vocal believer in the fingerprint sensor rumors. Kuo recently told Apple Insider that the redesigned home button would be convex rather than concave in order to read a user’s thumbprint, and be made of sapphire due to the gem’s resistance to scratches.
Kuo suggested that the technology could be used to process mobile payments and said has he believes the fingerprint sensor would help users feel more secure, in turn keeping Apple ahead of competition from Samsung (SSNFL.PK) and other smartphone brands running on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.
In addition to the fingerprint sensor, nowhereelse.fr said changes in camera design suggest that the 5S will have a more powerful camera than the iPhone 5 with a dual LED flash. For now, Apple enthusiasts will have to settle for rumors, as the company has kept its lips sealed about when the 5S will be released.
Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS
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