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Apple rumored to improve durability of new Touch ID hardware in 2014 iPhones, iPads

post #1 of 17
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With the Touch ID sensor expected to come to all of Apple's new iPhones and iPads later this year, the fingerprint scanning hardware is also rumored to see internal improvements that will make the home button more durable, according to a new report.

Touch ID


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is rumored to begin shipping the next-generation Touch ID sensors in early July, with shipments up 233 percent to 120 million units this year, according to China Times, as first spotted by G for Games. In addition to the next-generation "iPhone 6," the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is also widely rumored to arrive in this year's iPad Air and iPad mini.

This year's update is said to focus on improved durability, and will reportedly be built at an expanded TSMC 8-inch chip fabrication plant. TSMC already partners with Apple to build the existing Touch ID sensors, which are currently exclusive to the iPhone 5s.

In addition to the next iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Monday's report also unsurprisingly claimed that Touch ID will arrive in Apple's rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch "iPhone 6" updates that are widely rumored to arrive this fall.



And while Apple may be working to improve the Touch ID hardware itself, the greatest enhancements are expected to come this year in the form of software improvements for the fingerprint sensing technology. Specifically, starting with iOS 8, Apple will open up Touch ID to third-party application developers, allowing downloadable software to tap into the power of the secure technology.

With the newly granted access, apps like 1Password or payment handlers like PayPal will be able to call on Touch ID's assets to grant users access without having to remember lengthy passwords. Apple has promised that the system will remain secure by never exposing the fingerprint data to third parties, keeping it stored safely in the secure enclave found in the A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s.

Reports claiming Apple's 2014 iPad refresh will sport Touch ID fingerprint sensors have persisted throughout the year. It's expected that the new touchscreen tablets will debut around October, which would be one year after the launch of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.
post #2 of 17
Durability improvements are good obviously. I'd suggest Apple look at the water-proofing aspect in the light of the Scamsung advertising onslaught currently under way regarding this. I have heard many folks after seeing that bitching about Apple refusing warranty repairs after they retrieved their iPhones back out of the toilet etc. Scammy has definitely hit a nerve with those ads.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #3 of 17
Gee, and I was hoping Apple was going to go in the opposite direction and use cheaper, more fragile components. If you want to make money in this game, the only way to win is to beat Samsung on price! /s

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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Durability improvements are good obviously. I'd suggest Apple look at the water-proofing aspect in the light of the Scamsung advertising onslaught currently under way regarding this. I have heard many folks after seeing that bitching about Apple refusing warranty repairs after they retrieved their iPhones back out of the toilet etc. Scammy has definitely hit a nerve with those ads.

 

Why in the world should Apple be responsible for someone dropping their phones into the toilet?  Apple should instead ban anyone who is that clumsy from buying anymore of their products.

post #5 of 17

I didn't know there was anything wrong with the current Touch ID hardware.

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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I didn't know there was anything wrong with the current Touch ID hardware.

That's the job of the trolling press: invent problem, invent delayed solution, invented problem disappears, clicks obtained!

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post #7 of 17
Of course this would be to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Don't know why they bother, really.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Of course this would be to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Don't know why they bother, really.
We never do, but it does seem that apple took the rollout of it like they did Siri, so there might be some fixes for it in future versions.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Durability improvements are good obviously. I'd suggest Apple look at the water-proofing aspect in the light of the Scamsung advertising onslaught currently under way regarding this. I have heard many folks after seeing that bitching about Apple refusing warranty repairs after they retrieved their iPhones back out of the toilet etc. Scammy has definitely hit a nerve with those ads.

 

I would love to see fully waterproof iOS devices.  Apple does not hesitate to highlight the quality of its video and audio products, and it would be fantastic for people (scientists, documentary filmmakers) to be able to take their IOS devices on underwater expeditions to study the wildlife of the seas and also to produce stunning nature photography and videography for us to watch.  And yes, the devices would also not succumb to a dunk in the toilet!  But seriously, I think waterproofing iOS devices is an awesome idea, and not just to respond to advertising from competitors.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
 

Why in the world should Apple be responsible for someone dropping their phones into the toilet?  Apple should instead ban anyone who is that clumsy from buying anymore of their products.

 

Really?!  If you don't know anyone how hasn't bricked their phone due to water damage, then you don't know very many iPhone owners.

 

I know several people who've damaged their phones due to accidental carelessness or even [in a couple cases] circumstances beyond their control.  It happens.  Accidents happen. 

 

Just this weekend I was caught in a rain storm and couldn't get to a shelter.  I wasn't worried about getting wet, but I will admit I was more than a bit paranoid that my iPhone might get damaged.  I would more than welcome a water-resistant iPhone. 

post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Durability improvements are good obviously. I'd suggest Apple look at the water-proofing aspect in the light of the Scamsung advertising onslaught currently under way regarding this. I have heard many folks after seeing that bitching about Apple refusing warranty repairs after they retrieved their iPhones back out of the toilet etc. Scammy has definitely hit a nerve with those ads.

 

Agree that Apple should apply that water-shedding nano-coating to their mobile electronics.  But I'm not so sure that Apple would tell anyone about it.  Improved waterproofness is a great feature, but advertising it would guarantee that a certain percentage of iPhone "6" buyers would dunk it in the kitchen sink at their first opportunity.  Then there would be the "last longer" Samsung vs. Apple tests so tech bloggers could generate more page hits with sensational headlines.  Ad nauseam.

 

I think Apple would keep waterproofness a secret.  Better for everybody.

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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
 

 

Agree that Apple should apply that water-shedding nano-coating to their mobile electronics.  But I'm not so sure that Apple would tell anyone about it.  Improved waterproofness is a great feature, but advertising it would guarantee that a certain percentage of iPhone "6" buyers would dunk it in the kitchen sink at their first opportunity.  Then there would be the "last longer" Samsung vs. Apple tests so tech bloggers could generate more page hits with sensational headlines.  Ad nauseam.

 

I think Apple would keep waterproofness a secret.  Better for everybody.

Agreed.

 

They already put moisture detection in their units to void warranty repairs if they've been tripped (I had a 4s that did that... it got a bit flaky, and instead of a free replacement under the annual warranty (or if it were appleCare), they charged me $50 for a 'water replacement/warranty repair' 

My guess is that's not much of a profit.  But people complaining of 'flaky' devices and not getting them checked by a genius bar, my guess it's this or a SW setting that needs a soft reset upon reboot.

 

My water damage:  Sweat.  I'm a '6 pounder' when it comes to sweating while cycling (I lose 6 pounds of water every hour... 3 quarts...  On a 2 hour training run, I'm going through 100 oz Camelback and 2 24 oz sugar water bottles.  I now carry my iPhone in a ziploc bag in my back pocket.

 

Adding more protection stealthily is a way to increase 'value' to customers, and if the cost is low (pennies per unit), likely overall ROI will increase, with better 'word on the street' recommendations.  Adding marketing words like 'built to take on everyday life' is different than 'waterproof' , but the expectation is 'new, improved, better'  And dropping your phone on a dewy grass field as you get ready for your 8am workout and feeling 'okay' about it, is a great thing in the minds of most buyers.

 

[edit: completed thoughts that I missed]


Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 6/23/14 at 1:14pm
post #13 of 17
Speaking of dropping your phone in the toilet, did anyone read this past Sunday's Zits comic? ROFL
post #14 of 17
Purchased from the apple store a nuud waterproof cover for my iPad Air and my 5s
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post
 

 

Really?!  If you don't know anyone how hasn't bricked their phone due to water damage, then you don't know very many iPhone owners.

 

I know several people who've damaged their phones due to accidental carelessness or even [in a couple cases] circumstances beyond their control.  It happens.  Accidents happen.

 

Just this weekend I was caught in a rain storm and couldn't get to a shelter.  I wasn't worried about getting wet, but I will admit I was more than a bit paranoid that my iPhone might get damaged.  I would more than welcome a water-resistant iPhone.

I know plenty of iPhone users and I have never heard them complain about water damage.  Having said that, I don't doubt that iPhones do get damaged when they go through the wash or drop into the toilet.  But I wouldn't expect Apple to pick up the tab for repairing such things.  But yes, I think most of us would welcome more water-resistant devices.

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post
 

 

Really?!  If you don't know anyone how hasn't bricked their phone due to water damage, then you don't know very many iPhone owners.

 

I know several people who've damaged their phones due to accidental carelessness or even [in a couple cases] circumstances beyond their control.  It happens.  Accidents happen. 

 

Just this weekend I was caught in a rain storm and couldn't get to a shelter.  I wasn't worried about getting wet, but I will admit I was more than a bit paranoid that my iPhone might get damaged.  I would more than welcome a water-resistant iPhone. 

 

I know plenty of iPhone owners but not a single one of them has ever dropped their phone into a toilet or puddle. Your acquaintances must be really clumsy and careless. And then they expect Apple to honor warranty repairs on the water damaged phone? Unbelievable.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphMouth View Post
 

I know plenty of iPhone owners but not a single one of them has ever dropped their phone into a toilet or puddle. Your acquaintances must be really clumsy and careless. And then they expect Apple to honor warranty repairs on the water damaged phone? Unbelievable.

 

I don't know anyone that has dropped it into a toilet either.  I never said toilet.  And I never said these folks tried to claim a warranty repair.

 

I appreciate that that you and your friends are so perfect and exacting that you never dropped, lost, or broke an iPhone.  Or dropped it in water.  But in the real world, the rest of us clumsy people aren't so lucky.

 

Here's just three quick example's of people I know who lost their iPhone's to water (none claimed warranty, btw):

 

  • My niece is a lifeguard.  Just this past weekend, some kids threw her dufflebag into the pool as a prank, thinking it was just her street clothes in there.  Of course, so was her iPhone.  She had to buy a replacement, and never tried to claim a warranty repair. 
  • A co-worker of mine was a business function that was held at a hotel and food was served outside around the pool.  He reached into his pocket to pull out his phone.  He lost his grip and it slipped and bounced off the concrete and into the pool. 
  • My mother-in-law forgot to double-check the pockets of her pants before sending it through the wash.  It came out really super clean, but also not working.

 

The point is, if the technology exists to help water-proof the phone, then the argument should be why *aren't* they doing it?!

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