Home button fingerprint sensor in 'iPhone 5S' would give Apple a new leg up on the competition

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone this year with a fingerprint sensor hidden beneath the home button ??an intuitive design that could be difficult for competing Android and Windows Phone devices to copy.

Fingerprint


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities expects Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec to pay off this year with the so-called "iPhone 5S," the company's anticipated next-generation handset. He believes Apple will find a way to integrate the fingerprint sensor into the home button, allowing Apple to keep its "minimalist design."

In contrast, many Android and Windows Phone devices have more than one button below the display, and those buttons frequently lack the mechanical push of Apple's home button. As a result, attempts to integrate fingerprint scanning on competing devices would be less intuitive, and could frustrate users, Kuo said.

He believes that with the addition of a fingerprint sensor below the iPhone's home button, Apple will be able to replace the use of usernames and passwords, allowing users to authenticate in a more efficient manner. He also expects that the fingerprint scanner will integrate with applications such as Passbook to enhance their functionality.

Kuo has a particularly strong track record in predicting Apple's future product pipeline. Last year, the analyst accurately forecast the company's entire fall lineup, including the taller design of the iPhone 5 and iPod touch, thinner iMacs, the iPad mini, and the fourth-generation iPad with Lightning connector.

Predictions


Beyond the "iPhone 5S," Kuo expects a new handset based on the iPhone 5 design will also launch this year. Kuo's comments are in line with recent rumors, that have pegged Apple as planning to release a more affordable iPhone model this year targeted at emerging markets.

Kuo believes the less expensive iPhone 5 will feature a new design, including a plastic casing, to cut costs and expand Apple's iPhone lineup.

The analyst has also predicted that the iPad mini will gain a Retina display in 2013, while the full-size iPad will sport a lighter and thinner design with a smaller bezel. He also expects new Retina MacBook Pros with cheaper prices, the discontinuation of the legacy MacBook Pros, and a refresh to the Apple TV set-top box ? but no full-fledged television set this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 130
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member


    OK, I'll give the guy some slack because he's accurately predicted stuff in the past.  However, With this fingerprint reader.  Unless every website, every program, every piece of hardware that you use integrates this technology, it's not going to work.  For this to completely replace usernames and passwords, there will have to be a lot of up-front work on the user's part and the developer's as well.  you're still going to need back-up passwords and usernames for cases where you don't have your phone (like on a PC/Mac) or internet cafe.  It's just too complex of a situation.


     


    That being said, If Apple would be the first to go completely password-less in 2013 (within it's native ecosystem), they're going to have to refresh every product they make with the technology to really get full adoption, and even then it's going to be a "Beta"-like situation.  I can see that happening given other services Apple has done this way (Siri).


     


    You know, honestly, if they were to integrate this in 2013...I just don't know.  It's just like Siri, or Maps...Guys...fix the known issues and improve the native features you already have.  Sand the back-sides of the drawers first.  They keep diving into new territory without fixing the know issues first.  Good enough is just not good enough.

  • Reply 2 of 130
    irelandireland Posts: 17,799member
    So now this analyst is a UX expert?
  • Reply 3 of 130
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,551member
    Highly intriguing rumour, would be a good way to secure your phone. If Apple was to release this and slowly increase the functionality as it matures they'd do very well I think.
  • Reply 4 of 130
    uh fingerprint sensor ??? Where is your NFC, iPhone?
  • Reply 5 of 130
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Maybe "S" will stand for security this time around?
  • Reply 6 of 130
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member


    Well, he might be right but I see that the Mac Pro is missing from his schedule...


     


    Not sure I agree that the non retina pros go away.  Nice to see the mac mini on the list for a refresh and that he expect a retina iPad mini


     


    We'll see how his record looks at the end of this year.

  • Reply 7 of 130
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    antkm1 wrote: »
    OK, I'll give the guy some slack because he's accurately predicted stuff in the past.  However, With this fingerprint reader.  Unless every website, every program, every piece of hardware that you use integrates this technology, it's not going to work.  For this to completely replace usernames and passwords, there will have to be a lot of up-front work on the user's part and the developer's as well.  you're still going to need back-up passwords and usernames for cases where you don't have your phone (like on a PC/Mac) or internet cafe.  It's just too complex of a situation.

    That being said, If Apple would be the first to go completely password-less in 2013 (within it's native ecosystem), they're going to have to refresh every product they make with the technology to really get full adoption, and even then it's going to be a "Beta"-like situation.  I can see that happening given other services Apple has done this way (Siri).

    You know, honestly, if they were to integrate this in 2013...I just don't know.  It's just like Siri, or Maps...guys fix the known issues and improve the native features you already have.  Sand the back-sides of the drawers first.  They keep diving into new territory without fixing the know issues first.  Good enough is just not good enough.

    Apple doesn't have to replace passwords everywhere. Maybe they could just use auto fill like in OS X on websites and apps that require passwords and personal information and use the finger print scanner as confirmation.

    That would be pretty intuitive and the software would be smart enough to make the whole password-less environment work.
  • Reply 8 of 130


    Haha! to the guy who claims to know how this tech even integrates and then how Apple will implement it!


     


    The internet "comment" feature has made people so cavalier with their ignorance.  The ability to say something on a topic in no way enhances your knowledge on said topic.


     


    I'll be the first to admit that ALL I KNOW is that this [previously] AuthenTec fingerprint reader uses radio frequency instead of optics to "image" the finger's ridges and that THAT is pretty exciting from a tech and patent (therefore business) standpoint, Samsung.


     


    Apple had been trying to work out licensing agreements but then, in a very drastic move, simply bought out this entire company and suspended all licensing deals to other companies ... And when they did all this, they mandated that press releases to the general news media were not made.  I've been anxious to hear more about this for months.

  • Reply 9 of 130
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    nht wrote: »
    Well, he might be right but I see that the Mac Pro is missing from his schedule...

    Not sure I agree that the non retina pros go away.  Nice to see the mac mini on the list for a refresh and that he expect a retina iPad mini

    We'll see what his record looks at the end of this year.

    Even if he ends up 50/50 he's still more reliable than every other analyst combined.
  • Reply 10 of 130
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    I hope this isn't true.  It would make far more sense to integrate it into the screen.  


     


    Especially since they just spent millions buying a company with world-leading technology that does exactly that.  

  • Reply 11 of 130
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    Even if he ends up 50/50 he's still more reliable than every other analyst combined.


     


    The thing about Apple and inside sources is that being consistently accurate is probably a good way of getting your source fired.  :)

  • Reply 12 of 130

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I hope this isn't true.  It would make far more sense to integrate it into the screen.  


     


    Especially since they just spent millions buying a company with world-leading technology that does exactly that.  



    Agree!  The point about other companies not being able to copycat is still valid, but you're exactly right.

  • Reply 13 of 130
    hattighattig Posts: 860member
    Current Android phones are moving to a zero button (on front) approach, with soft-buttons on the UI instead.

    Plenty of room for a manufacturer to put a fingerprint reader in. And surely there are phones with such things integrated already!

    I presume that the fingerprint reader would integrate with a secure password manager on the phone to manage login forms.

    It will also work as a means to id the user unlocking the phone, and on a multi-account device (supported by Android already) would auto-select the user.
  • Reply 14 of 130
    Uh.... What the heck!? Have I wandered into the website for MingchikuoInsider?

    Enough with this analyst bs.
  • Reply 15 of 130
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    antkm1 wrote: »
    OK, I'll give the guy some slack because he's accurately predicted stuff in the past.  However, With this fingerprint reader.  Unless every website, every program, every piece of hardware that you use integrates this technology, it's not going to work.  For this to completely replace usernames and passwords, there will have to be a lot of up-front work on the user's part and the developer's as well.  you're still going to need back-up passwords and usernames for cases where you don't have your phone (like on a PC/Mac) or internet cafe.  It's just too complex of a situation.

    That being said, If Apple would be the first to go completely password-less in 2013 (within it's native ecosystem), they're going to have to refresh every product they make with the technology to really get full adoption, and even then it's going to be a "Beta"-like situation.  I can see that happening given other services Apple has done this way (Siri).

    You know, honestly, if they were to integrate this in 2013...I just don't know.  It's just like Siri, or Maps...guys fix the known issues and improve the native features you already have.  Sand the back-sides of the drawers first.  They keep diving into new territory without fixing the know issues first.  Good enough is just not good enough.

    Regarding your first point, I don't see that as being all that complex. Think of the fingerprint as an alias linked via a new form of Keychain, or whatever they have cooked up assuming this is true, to the internally stored written password.
  • Reply 16 of 130


    I stopped reading the second I saw the image. Clearly the analyst missed the boat Android by default uses on screen buttons these days and more OEMs are moving that way, so that whole point was moot. Either way, not seeing fingerprint as the next big thing for the phone, only a gimmick one step  above face unlock.

  • Reply 17 of 130
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


    OK, I'll give the guy some slack because he's accurately predicted stuff in the past.  However, With this fingerprint reader.  Unless every website, every program, every piece of hardware that you use integrates this technology, it's not going to work.  For this to completely replace usernames and passwords, there will have to be a lot of up-front work on the user's part and the developer's as well.  you're still going to need back-up passwords and usernames for cases where you don't have your phone (like on a PC/Mac) or internet cafe.  It's just too complex of a situation. ...



     


    I don't think this is necessarily right, but I don't think the presence of a fingerprint scanner necessarily leads to the conclusion that "all passwords will be replaced" either, so I think the whole premise is wrong.  The way I see it, the fingerprint scanner is just adding a secure identity to the iPhone.  It's an extension of the Passport feature.  If I already have my credit card connected to my Apple ID (and most people do), and then I connect a fingerprint scanner to that, that results in a complete replacement for the whole NFC idea doesn't it?  Only without the security risks of NFC.  


     


    I could easily see Passport morphing into a system wherein you can actually buy things with it or get money from it.  It could have happened already except for worries about security.  This would eliminate those worries.  


     


    There are other benefits also.  Your phone could tell when you were not the person operating it for example and raise an alarm.   

  • Reply 18 of 130
    plagenplagen Posts: 151member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ricardo Dawkins View Post



    uh fingerprint sensor ??? Where is your NFC, iPhone?


    Why does one need NFC? It's not like there aren't other one thousand convenient ways for a seller to part you and your money.

  • Reply 19 of 130
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member








    Nothing new.


     


    Fingerprint scanners have been used on handhelds since before 2000.   They come and go in popularity every five years or so.


     


    Heck, the 2007 Toshiba Portégé G900 (the first retina screen smartphone) had a fingerprint scanner which not only could be used to unlock the phone, but you could even set it up so that each finger launched a different application.   It could also be used for scrolling.  Pretty slick.



    What Apple would probably use it for, is to confirm the user when making electronic payments, picking up tickets, etc.

  • Reply 20 of 130
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Regarding your first point, I don't see that as being all that complex. Think of the fingerprint as an alias linked via a new form of Keychain, or whatever they have cooked up assuming this is true, to the internally stored written password.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    I don't think this is necessarily right, but I don't think the presence of a fingerprint scanner necessarily leads to the conclusion that "all passwords will be replaced" either, so I think the whole premise is wrong.  The way I see it, the fingerprint scanner is just adding a secure identity to the iPhone.  It's an extension of the Passport feature.  If I already have my credit card connected to my Apple ID (and most people do), and then I connect a fingerprint scanner to that, that results in a complete replacement for the whole NFC idea doesn't it?  Only without the security risks of NFC.  


     


    I could easily see Passport morphing into a system wherein you can actually buy things with it or get money from it.  It could have happened already except for worries about security.  This would eliminate those worries.  


     


    There are other benefits also.  Your phone could tell when you were not the person operating it for example and raise an alarm.   



    I think you're both missing the point.  Sure, the fingerprint scan can easily be linked back to keychain or whatever.  But currently, the iPhone doesn't use keychain, and i think it would be a major security risk at this point if they did.  Now I will agree that if the FP scan is mainly just an added level of security, I could see it working.  But that's not the point I was trying to make.


     


    My point was, for this technology to truly be useful and a technology that solves the exponentially increasing problem of password inflation and over-saturation, it's going to have to be a much more rich system...one which must completely replace the Username/Password system.  And I think that's why FP tech has not provided such a solution.  Nobody wants to spend the R&D on developing it as a replacement.  Adding an extra level of security is fine.  We've seen this on Laptops and PC accessories for years and it hasn't revolutionized the way we login to things.  And that's the point.  Adding yet another pointless feature to the iPhone isn't going to revolutionize anything.  And I just don't see this as a step forward for Apple.


     


    Now with Passbook (i think you mean to say)...I agree, I think that could be a really great alternative to services like PayPal.  To me, the current Passbook is kind of a mess.  I kind of expected it to be like an NFC tech, but it's really not that great.  You're supposed to store things like tickets and boarding passes and coupons...that's great but you end up having a billion apps on your phone that have to integrate into Passbook.  And sure you can store them in a folder, but then you're using up all your available storage to do this.  The only thing I would use this for is coupons and boarding passes, however, I have not had an once of success with Boarding passes because I fly Internationally primarily and you need to check-in.  Coupon don't seems to work for me either.  It just becomes one of those apps (like Newsstand) that gets shoved on a back screen to be lost.

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