A respected financial tech analyst is predicting that the 2013 iPhone will feature the long-rumored fingerprint/biometrics security scanner. Even if this is the case, it’s hard to believe that we’ll see something like that on the iPhone 6 (or 5S) unless iWallet is also released.
It’s hard to keep all of the swirling 2013 iPhone rumors in line, what with some sites referring to it as the “iPhone 5S” and others the “iPhone 6.” Here at the iPhone 6 News Blog, we are going on the assumption (yes, a mere assumption — certainly no hard evidence to back it up) that Apple will release a refreshed iPhone 5S this year and an overhauled iPhone 6 in 2014. Thus, the focus of this blog is on what the next overhauled iPhone might feature.
And, to be sure, it certainly could feature the long-anticipated fingerprint scanner as a next-generation security measure, ostensible as a complement to the eventual release of iWallet. The thing is, one of those crazy tech analysts is saying that the fingerprint scanner is coming this year.
According to MacRumors:
“KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a very good track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, has issued a new research report outlining his expectations for Apple’s 2013 product launches. . . Kuo expects that Apple will introduce both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year, with the iPhone 5S appearing very similar to the current iPhone 5 but carrying a number of upgrades including an A7 system-on-a-chip for better performance, a fingerprint sensor, and camera improvements such as an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash.”
Oddly, this report, which cites the “iPhone 5S” as the 2013 iPhone release (along with a “revamped iPhone 5 — that’s a new one!), gets transposed to “iPhone 6″ over on TechCrunch:
“Will The iPhone 6 Feature Fingerprint Detection? . . . The juiciest tidbit from the report, first published by MacRumors? That Apple is preparing to install a hardware fingerprint sensor on the next iPhone, perhaps integrated with the home button, to differentiate its new phone from growing competition.”
Um, I can’t find any reference at all in the original Kuo article to suggest anything about the fingerprint-scanner-on-the-home-button feature, so I’m not sure where they got that. Nor do I understand how Kuo’s prediction of a marginally upgraded iPhone 5S would feature something as groundbreaking as fingerprint analysis. That’s pretty next-generation stuff for the average Joe smartphone user, and something more believable for the “real” iPhone 6 — not whatever iterative upgrade we’ll see coming out of Cupertino this year.
And most likely, the fingerprint scanner would be coupled with iWallet. And I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence to suggest that iWallet is imminent. After all, it won’t be hard to know that it’s coming, what will the thousands of retailers across the U.S. having to onboard to the NFC technology needed to accept payments via an iPhone.
If we reduce the original kernal of this rumor down to the most basic talking points (not an easy thing to do, considering how confusing the iPhone rumor mill is right now), it probably breaks down like this: Kuo believes that, whatever Apple releases in the way of an iPhone this year, it’s going to be a refresh. To me, that means that fingerprint scanning is unlikely, as is iWallet.
Those technologies, I believe, are still the domain of the iPhone 6. The 2014 iPhone 6.
By Michael Nace