According to a report from China Times, Apple is looking to include both fingerprint sensors and NFC (Near Field Communication) e-wallet features to the iPhone 5S. Apple has reportedly drafted a contract with Taiwan’s Chipbond Science and Technology in order to develop the fingerprint sensors. The report also notes that both the fingerprint sensors and the NFC capabilities will work in tandem, allowing users to make purchases and verify their payment with their fingerprints.
Earlier this month, Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities reported that Apple was looking to include a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S as well as an improved camera and A7 chip. He also mentioned that next iPhone would have the same design as the iPhone 5 and would release in the June/July timeframe. This isn’t the first time that reports like these have surfaced, however, Kuo has a solid track record, having accurately reported on a number of Apple product releases and refreshes.
Apple has reportedly been working on including a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone since last year, when the Cupertino company acquired security firm AuthenTec for $356 million. The firm was acquired specifically for the its “Smart Sensor” technology, which is only 1.30 millimeters thick and can scan 500 pixels per inch. Kuo noted previously that this “Smart Sensor” would be strategically placed under the home button for easy scanning when prompted. When not activated, the sensor would remain off under the button.
Apple is setting itself up for a much improved iPhone e-wallet experience, with the introduction of Passbook last year and now the rumored fingerprint sensor. This is the first time that the company would utilize the bezel on its iOS devices for anything other than holding the device and to house the home button.