Patent, leaked images & invitation add evidence to iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor

It's now believed that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint sensor

Evidence that the iPhone 5S will feature a fingerprint sensor built-in to the Home button is mounting, with new reports suggesting that the iPhone 5S will have a silver ring around the Home button.

The iPhone 5S (Image credit: SonnyDickson.com)
The iPhone 5S (Image credit: SonnyDickson.com)

An Apple patent application, leaked photographs of iPhone 5S packaging and closer inspection of the Apple event invitation seem to confirm that the iPhone 5S will indeed have the rumoured fingerprint sensor, which could enable better security and remove the need for passwords.

Apple iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor patent

A newly discovered Apple patent application reveals a fingerprint sensor with integrated NFC circuitry that could built-in to the iPhone 5S's Home button.

Patently Apple reports that the patent application, filed by Apple last year, details an "electronic device with shared near field communications and sensor structures."

Apple describes that the technology could be a fingerprint sensor that is able to gather data from a portion of an electronic device, specifically mentioning that this portion could be a button.

Illustrations in the patent application show a metal outer ring electrode that could surround the Home button of the iPhone 5S as part of the fingerprint sensor.

The application goes on to describe that the use of NFC (near field communication) in conjunction with the fingerprint sensor could enable further possibilities, such as the ability to carry out secure wireless interactions such as mobile payments.

Additionally, NFC could allow a new way of docking the iPhone, by enabling the device to wirelessly communicate with docking accessories through the technology.

iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor Home button to have silver ring

The fingerprint sensor patent application emerged soon after reports that the iPhone 5S would have a silver ring around the Home button surfaced online on Friday.

In August, Fox News' Clayton Morris suggested that there would be a silver ring around the iPhone 5S Home button, and that rumour has re-emerged thanks to photographs that are claimed to be of the iPhone 5S packaging. The iPhone 5S shown on the front of the box in the image has a silver ring around the Home button.

However, it's unlikely that these photographs are legitimate, because the iPhone 5S shown on the box, while running iOS 7, has no wallpaper.

That said, looking back at the official Apple invitation that Apple sent out on Tuesday last week, you'll spot that there are several white circles with silver/grey rings surrounding them. Apple is known for adding little clues into its invitations, so it's quite possible that these white circles could be a hint at the fingerprint sensor.

We mentioned in our "Decoding Apple's 10 September invite" article last week that we believe the white circles to be significant, because Apple has gone to the effort to include them in the design despite the fact that they require a grey stroke around them.

In July, code spotted in an iOS 7 beta provided key evidence that the iPhone 5S would have a fingerprint sensor, and Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec, a company that specialises in security systems such as fingerprint sensors, also suggests that Apple is working to include such technology in its devices.

We don't have long until we find out for sure what Apple's been up to behind the scenes.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadsmartphonestabletsAppleiPhonehardware systemsconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashleigh Allsopp

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Win pair of MOMENTUM True Wireless

Three PC World readers will be in the running to take home a pair of MOMENTUM True Wireless which are meticulously crafted with every fine listening detail considered. *T&C's Apply

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?