While we still have to wait for Apple to announce the iPhone 5 come Wednesday, September 12, ahead of the device’s official announcement we are already hearing rumored specs for the iPhone model that succeeds the iPhone 5 in Apple’s lineup. If Apple keeps its historic sequential naming convention for the iPhone since the iPhone 3G was announced, we may see an interim iPhone 5S model introduced about a year after this year’s iPhone 5 announcement, which is rumored to bring a new dock connector, a redesigned metal body, 4G LTE global connectivity for faster mobile broadband support, and for the first time a shift to a 4-inch display from a 3.5-inch screen. With the iPhone 5S, the “S” in the name may stand for ‘security’ just as 3GS denoted speed and iPhone 4S represented Siri.
With the iPhone 5S, Apple may finally bring to market an iPhone with a fingerprint scanner. The move may be a bid for Apple to move into the mobile payment sector, which rival Google is venturing into with Android, NFC and Google Wallet, rather than a move to gain more traction into the enterprise market though that result may come as a side consequence. The company has already made a bid for AuthenTec, which would help bring that technology to market.
According to UK’s The Guardian, the technology may make it into the iPhone 5 or the next-generation device if it doesn’t appear on September 12:
If fingerprint scanning is not among this year’s new features, it looks likely to appear in the next handset update.
Given that the recent leaks behind the iPhone 5 are true, the technology may not appear until next-year as an incremental upgrade. This year’s big features are already impressive enough to convince many iOS users to upgrade with the primary big reasons being the 4-inch display and LTE connectivity for faster Internet.
Further news that the iPhone 5S will arrive with a biometric fingerprint security scanner? “AuthenTec signed a development contract with Apple in July which runs until September 2013, just in time for next year’s iPhone launch,” writes The Guardian.
The system may help Apple grow its Passbook, which is Apple’s emerging mobile wallet solution that ties payments into movie tickets, event ticketing boarding passes, and other loyalty and discount coupons. Passbook is a feature of iOS 6 and Apple may need additional time to grow the feature and integrate it into more vendors and get merchants to approve the service, suggesting that next year’s iPhone 5S with fingerprint would be a timely launch.
In the past, phones like the original Motorola Atrix–an Android smartphone–launched on AT&T supported a fingerprint authentication system for unlocking the phone. The technology, while innovative, didn’t really catch on and Motorola dropped the biometric sensor. On Android 4.0, Google introduced biometrics in the form of Face Unlock, which uses the front-facing camera to authenticate the user and log into the phone.
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