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?