Fingerprint scanning, NFC rumored for iPhone 5S

Fingerprint scanning, NFC bound for next iPhone?

The iPhone 5s -- or whatever Apple ends up calling it -- is rumored be sporting both NFC and a fingerprint scanner. Chipbond, a Taiwanese company, has apparently been tapped to provide some components of the next iPhone, including touch display drivers, NFC chips, and chips that support a fingerprint sensor. China Times reports:

Another major new features of the Apple iPhone 5s rumor is equipped with a fingerprint recognition system supports the NFC electronic payment mechanism, using Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec fingerprint sensing IC production, TSMC responsible for foundry wafer gold bumping on behalf of work orders by the same Chipbond win exclusive.

There have been rumors of fingerprint scanners in iPhones since Apple’s aquisitions of Authentec last year. There have been NFC rumors going back beyond that, and Apple may have even experimented with NFC prototypes at one point, before abandoning it in the final design and production models.

If NFC and fingerprint scanning both make their way into the next iPhone, then it seems probably that Apple would find a way to use them both together. An NFC mobile wallet could have fingerprint scanning for added security. Any mobile wallet would also probably tie in to Passbook as well.

Given that NFC payments have yet to take off in the United States however, there is some doubt that this would be the route Apple takes. While it’s true that Apple could spur the adotion of the technology, they would need the infrastructure in place to begin with. It’s likely that Apple would use NFC for mobile payments in addtion to another feature.

Anyone holding out hope for either fingerprint scans or NFC this time around?

Source: China Times), via Macotakara

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Fingerprint scanning, NFC rumored for iPhone 5S

28 Comments

fingerprint scanning?? HA! Of course they're rumoring that.
It won't happen though.... not because it's not possible, but because it's totally counter-apple with the minimilist design they take. And there's very little ROI to the added hardware costs.
It's like adding a can-opener to the phone, as standard OTB hardware.
It can be done, but is best done with a third-party add-on accessory.

NFC is more likely,
But again... it's no surprise that this is rumored. It's since before the 4S was released.
And NFC... WOULD be on par with Apple's decisions as over the past few years. Apple, by nature of being the sole manufacturer of their hardware and sole provider for their OS, now is perpetually playing catch up with Android.
Android, being so open and flexible allows cool new features, hardware and use-cases to be sandboxed by any single manufacturer and phone model, then later merged into the OS as a whole, or adopted by the rest of the handsets later on.

Apple won't bravely introduce new hardware or use-cases in its existing products because it would REQUIRE it to put all of its eggs in that ONE basket.
They even stupidly translated their product mindset into their services.
You can't use iTunes with other products (like how you CAN buy Google audio content, or amazon audio content) and use it on other devices (Android, WinPhone AND iOS).
So if their hardware ever becomes unpopular, Apple can't even sell its music store sale service to other handset users and keep making profit.

Apple is a house of cards built vertically, they can't branch out horizontally because they have such a minimal product-line that their revenue depends on.
The mindset works when you're the ONLY one defining the industry (as they pretty much were from 2007 through 2010)... but things started to change and now they're no longer set up for success. :-/

Sarcasm attempts fail when you also make a straw man misrepresentation. :-/
(I specifically said "they're <b>no longer</b> set up for success", not that they <b>never</b> were...)

If apple could build the fingerprint scanner into the home button it wouldn't compromise the minimalist design. I see this happening only when they figure out how to build it into the home button, perhaps in iPhone 6?

Good point!

It had also occurred to me that the banding along the edge would be a decent place, but any bumpers or cases would obstruct it.
The home button would be ideal. :-)

Well, in the screen for the Microsoft pixelsense (screen made by samsung)
each and every pixel in the screen is also an IR transmitter AND IR camera, allowing for the screen to "see" objects, scan paper directly from the screen, or... do fingerprint authentication, by pressing the finger to the screen ;)
This certainly is alot more like apples minimalist design.

NFC is good and all, but wireless chargeing is alot higher on alot of ppls wishlist, and wireless chargeing also complies with apples minimalist design

Fingerprint scanning isn't something that can be properly added by a third party however - it needs deep OS hooks, and built-in hardware support. The iPAQ was great and hopefully Apple can do the same with their scanner.

Fingerprint scanning could be done by a third-party, but just for authentication for their own apps.
(Such as how companies like Square have accessories for securely reading sensitive data, such as credit-card info etc)

But yeah, totally. If it were to be used for lock-screen auth, those hooks would have to be provided within the OS (unlikely, considering how tightly Apple guards their code), and would best be done in that case by Apple itself.

"NFC payments have yet to take off in the United States" seems US is couple of years behind in mobile payments. PayPass has been a well established standard for a long time now. At the moment I could leave my wallet at home and pay with my phone virtually anywhere... if I wasn't so attached to Apple brand, which makes its handset primarily for US market.

I've been Mac and iPhone user my entire adult life, but I'm a bit fed up with waiting for Apple to finally introduce features I'm waiting for like NFC and REAL Lte (800 and 2600MHz).

I've been playing with Sony's Xperia Z at local retailer and that's a first Android phone that really makes me think of switching.

Rember that Samsung add where one of people waiting in line says that they are "finally going to get what they've been waiting for, maybe not this time but the next time for sure"

Apple could have implemented nfc In iPhone 5 and IPod 5th, making them more future proof, but Apple only sees $$$$$$$$$$

It is obvious to me that this is going to be where commerce will go in the future ("in the year 2000"). Hard currencies (short of secured physical assets like gold, silver, etc) will eventually disappear in upper-crust, more advanced third-world nations... leaving only electronic finance and serving mediums (a scary thought, absolutely). Hell, the other day I needed less than a dollar in change. I searched my house and car for over half an hour— I came up without a single penny, literally... and I can hardly go to the bank and ask for 35 cents! Or anything less than 20 dollars, for that matter! Cash is inconvenient. People are inherently lazy, to the point where it has become human nature.
It seems a small flaw in Darwin's otherwise quite sound theories— but it's not, truly. Why? Because, get ready for this: evolution, itself, is evolving! The proverbial "Deus Ex Machina"— paired with a beautiful irony and a kick-ass philosophical head buzz.
Combine the two (cash inconvenience laziness) and it's the veritable Captain Planet of the industrial (Americanized?) world.
Given that, this approach takes a great step in the right direction; a necessary direction. It's two-factor authentication as best I can see it: you have a physical token (iPhone) paired with another (so called, pseudo) "future-tech", biofeedback authentication. This solves the scornful attacks that would, by protocol and principle, make this an immediate deal-breaker— allowing single factor NFC authentication. This is hypocritical, yes, considering the reality that credit cards, in practice, only use single factor authentication in a large majority of transactions— and the fallback is fallible and unreliable, because it hinges on PEOPLE. A human comparing two signatures... that's if they even DID that, which we all know never happens, due to...
With (more) security measures in place and the added convenience (an appeal to the sloth-like masses) of not having to bear the burden of carrying around cash or a card— oh no! Yet, curiously, they have no problem hauling around their precious smartphones. This is why this is sure to happen. See, the person will likely already be texting in line as they're being checked out, so at this point, the only real "demand" of them is to merely EXIST NEARBY— until we can escape that expensive demand on us... a formidable weight to bear, I know. The metaphorical cross we carry on the painful path to our own self-saving martyrdom. We are all contemporary christs, aren't we? Saving us from ourselves. Looks like lemmings had the right idea all along... imagine that.
No, I'm not intentionally using alliteration, LOL; I swear! Nor am I trying to "sound" like a supercilious philosopher. These are my casual thoughts. It's how I think. If it's a bit "above" most people, then that doesn't reflect anything impressive on the masses. I'm no genius; I'm nothing special. Like the rest of you, I'm simply "nothing". (Ohhh! Existential nihilism! Now he's really pushing the bounds of human consideration! What a show-off! And a jerk-off! Haha...)
Back on topic again... I swear I have Asperger's or something. Autistim... or maybe I'm just fkn retarded. LOL. Classic, grade-A insanity? Probably. Moving on... or shall I say "returning to the original, primary topic of discussion... one amongst many:
Concluding: despite any apparent flaws or barriers to implementation or realization of this concept (at least in the US), they will all be overshadowed by the biggest influencing factor of ALL— convenience (read: the manifestation or implementation of technologies or techniques that allow for or outright cater to increased "human sloth"). It's the wave of the future. This tech, I'm speaking of. Laziness was the wave of existence, as well as its wake.
Agree with me or not (if you were able to follow the tangled, tangential rhetoric)— and despite thoughts that my claims are a bit overzealous; peppered with copious hyperbole (it was, tongue-in-cheek, for humor— but with a subconscious fear that my "jokes" may prove to be anything BUT)... you at least have to appreciate my candor and take on the article/concept (and the constant bonus commentary on the human condition)... right? The more intelligent ones here will get it, I trust.
The rest of the (non-)readers? The purest irony— I'll get a TL;DR. LOL! Irony is such a sweet MF'er sometimes, haha. God, I love it... it is the reason for my smile, most days.
The remainder are courtesies of my medication. LOL— the medication(s) that I probably SHOULD be on if I had health insurance; were I afforded such posh luxuries as health care.
Anyone want to talk about socio-economic grievances?! No??! LOL. Poor sports— all of you. ;)

A realization that's far more profound than anything in the massive commentary above— the time I spent typing that up could have been put to something far more productive, like jerking off. God, reading gets me into trouble like that. I need to stop that crap. Reading, I mean— not jerking off! Please, I'm a human being for f*** sakes. Damn it! Opportunity #2, gone. For someone with such smart s**t to say, I sure am dumb...

NFC at this point is just another thing to add to the list of "look at what my phone can do, but I never use it" I had the Nokia lumia 920 and turned NFC off because it drained the battery so quick!

I don't know about a fingerprint scanner, that's getting a little personal now. But it would give Apple a reason to call the next iPhone the 5S, S for scanner.

Apple really needs something to OOH AND AHHH us just to keep that freshness. As much as I don't care for Samsung phones, they are bringing out the new. Apple needs a bigger screen and fix maps and Siri. I'm sure they are aware of what's going on. But I'm happy with just the way they are for the most part. I just cannot stand Android OS and that's the same with others I am sure which is what is keeping loyal apple fans to stick with iPhone etc.

The fingerprint scanner sounds really interesting. It would be a great way to personalize your phone. They should implement it in a way that allows it to be your lock code instead of they way the lock codes are set up now since the 4 digit lock code displays the number pad so HUGE that it's easy for prying eyes to pick up on your code. I just recently watched my wife do this to her mom lol. Now I know there is the longer pass code you can enable for added security but even then that can still be seen if someone is looking hard enough or it can be inconvenient when you really need to get to your home screen. With a fingerprint scanner built into, say, the home button, we could swipe our thumb or index finger across it and unlock our phone. We already have our thumb on the home button when we press it anyways so it would be pretty convenient.

I'm really looking forward to this feature. This is a much secure approach than the pass code that is used. Finally something cool. Don't these Technology companies get it, we want a new feature.

Is NFC really a necessity? Finger print scanning could be cool for locking or unlocking that would be exciting!

I don't see how they could squeeze any more into the shell of the 5 for the 5s. Didn't the manufacturers already have a tough time with the 5 because its so thin now? They are going to have to use microscopes to put the thing together! I think they would have to fatten it up a bit to add anymore hardware-dependent features.

HMMM if the fingerprint scanning is for real and true biometric that I think this would be a great add for iPhone and or iPad as well. i am all for as much security as we can get as long as it is simple to use and not obtrusive.

Interesting to see if the go with the NFC - not sure if it would compliment the passbook idea or compete wtih it...

I'm in for two years October for my iPhone 5. If fingerprint scanning and NFC are the only upgrades, I'll be happy. Larger screen or some other crazy add-on, I might have to do the selloff and pay the difference for the 5S.