KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculates that the iPhone 5S will feature built-in fingerprint recognition.
He believes Apple intends to opt for a convex-shaped home button and also cover its surface with sapphire glass.
“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.”
Rumors about a fingerprint reader being integrated into the next iPhone started last year after Apple bought the company AuthenTec, which specializes in fingerprint technology.
The iPhone 5S and rumored low-cost iPhone are expected to be unveiled on September 10.