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Will the next iPhone feature biometric fingerprint technology? Signs point to yes.


It’s widely anticipated that the next iPhone will feature a fingerprint scanner, and there are a lot of signs pointing to this being the case.

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.

According to a report in the Huffington Post, in a report from Kuo to investors, it was included that Apple’s next iPhone, to be released in the third quarter of 2013, would feature a “fingerprint sensor.”

From MacRumors: “Kuo expects that Apple will introduce both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year, with the iPhone 5S appearing very similar to the current iPhone 5 but carrying a number of upgrades including an A7 system-on-a-chip for better performance, a fingerprint sensor, and camera improvements such as an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash. He also believes that the lower-cost iPhone will in many ways simply be an iPhone 5 repackaged into a slightly thicker (8.2 mm vs. the current 7.6 mm) plastic enclosure available in six colors.”

Besides Kuo’s predictions, there have been a number of deals that have made the idea of a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone look likely, and BiometricUpdate.com has been following this story closely since last year.

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.

In a 2012 year-end article, BIometricUpdate.com predicted widespread use of biometrics in consumer devices in 2013, including an iPhone with a fingerprint sensor.

What do you think? Will the next iPhone feature biometric capacities? In particular, a fingerprint sensor?

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2 Replies to “Will the next iPhone feature biometric fingerprint technology? Signs point to yes.”

  1. Will the next iPhone feature biometric capacities?
    Yes, all the signs certainly point in that direction.

    Will this further the adoption of biometrics for consumer applications?
    Yes and no. Awareness of the technology under consumers will increase. Many people will buy an iPhone 5S, increasing the number of people carrying an enabled device. If Apple executes the technology well (not a certainty!) it can become a popular means of unlocking an iPhone. But to also use fingerprint authentication for banking, the banks will have to change their infrastructure. No doubt Apple will offer them specific technology to do this, but at considerable cost. Hey, this will save you guys $500M in fraud, so you can pay us $300M. Not an easy decision, especially when considering that we can expect Apple to do everything they can to prevent Samsung and others to use the same technology. This battle can actually slow down the broader adoption of consumer biometrics. Worst case: we will have to wait 20 years for the patents to expire, before we see any more advances in this fields.

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