March 22, 2013 -
Photos have been leaked, purporting to show components from Apple’s next iPhone, including the home button, flex cable and internal vibrator.
It has been widely rumored that the next iPhone would feature a fingerprint sensor and many believed that it would be embedded in the home button, though these new leaked pictures – if they are indeed from the new iPhone – would make a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button very unlikely.
Like most Apple leaks, these pictures should be looked at with a grain of salt. The credibility of these pictures has not yet been confirmed.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, has proven himself to be a reliable source when it comes to Apple launch rumours, as his predictions are often right, having almost perfectly predicted the details and features of many recent Apple launches. In a report from Kuo to investors, it was included that the next iPhone, to be released in the third quarter of 2013, would feature a “fingerprint sensor.”
For some background on this speculation, In 2012, Apple entered into an agreement to purchase AuthenTec for approximately US$356 million. AuthenTec specializes in strong fingerprint-based security, ideal for mobile devices.
Later in the year, it was reported that AuthenTec would stop selling fingerprint technology to any of Apple’s competitors, starting in 2013. This included a significant list of existing customers such as Samsung, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.
Despite many who believed Apple’s iPhone 5 would even contain a fingerprint sensor, the device was launched sensor-less in the fall.
In October, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for biometric-sensor handheld devices that recognize a user by the image of their hand. Specifically, Apple patented the use of a biometric fingerprint sensor that is concealed behind a closed window on an iPhone.
After the sensor-less iPhone 5 launch, AuthenTec sold its embedded security division to INSIDE Secure, which many believed also strongly suggested an upcoming biometric iPhone.