The usually reliable analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, has released a new research note that indicates Apple upcoming “iPhone 5S” will likely have a sapphire-covered convex home button that will house a fingerprint sensor. While the device’s home button has had a concave shape since its original introduction in 2007, Kuo believes a convex shape would give more room for the fingerprint sensor.
Kuo, via MacRumors:
Convex home button creates space for fingerprint sensor; yield to improve. We think that a fingerprint sensor will be placed under the home button of iPhone 5S. However, assembling it could be difficult as the space under home button is limited as it already has to accommodate the Lightning connector, speaker and microphone. Thus, we think the shape of the home button could be changed from concave to convex to create more space for a fingerprint sensor.
Sapphire prevents home button from being scratched. A convex home button could be more easily scratched, so a harder material is required. We believe Apple will switch from plastic to sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond. Sapphire would protect the home button from being scratched and the fingerprint sensor from being damaged.
Kuo expects Apple to use the RF and capacitive technology it bought when it acquired AuthenTec, in the place of the optical recognition used in many similar sensors. This would allow a more robust system that would be less affected by dust and other contaminants.
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 5S at a media event on September 10th.