A new report from the Far East claims that Apple has contracted with Taiwan’s Chipbond Science and Technology to build fingerprint sensors into its next-generation iPhone. The NFC chip rumor also pops up in the report.
The details were reported on Monday by China Times, which claimed that the so-called “iPhone 5S” will include both a fingerprint sensor and a near-field communications chip for mobile payments. The two items are expected to work in concert with one another, allowing users to easily authorize a transaction with their fingerprint.
Apple has reportedly begun stocking components for the iPhone 5S, and the device is expected to launch in mid-to-late 2013.
The details in the report appear to back up the previous claim by revered analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities. Kuo, who has an excellent track record in predicting Apple’s product pipeline, believes the new iPhone 5S will launch sometime in June or July, looking much like the iPhone 5, but with an improved camera and more powerful processor. Kuo also believes the fingerprint sensor will be included in the iPhone 5S.
Kuo believes the fingerprint sensor will reside under the home button, and users will simply place their thumb over the button when prompted. The identity of the user can then be verified for entering passwords, or purchase authorizations.
The first rumors of a fingerprint sensor in future Apple devices popped up when Apple paid $356 million for security firm AuthenTec. The acquisition was reportedly made in order for Apple to obtain the company’s “Smart Sensor” technology.
NFC rumors continue to persist, even as Apple debuted its Passbook feature in iOS 6. The feature omitted NFC capabilities, due in part to the reluctance of store owners to spend the money necessary for equipping their checkout terminals with the equipment needed to make such a system work.