iPhone 5S may feature sapphire covered capacitive home button with fingerprint sensor

There have been several rumors that claim the next iPhone will feature a fingerprint sensor, and according to a new rumor, the sensor would be a part of the iPhone’s home button, which will reportedly be touch sensitive and covered with sapphire crystal.

The news comes via Cult of Mac, who spotted a report on Taiwanese site technews.tw:

Apple is expected to do away with the traditional physical home button, which has long been one of the most unreliable components on iOS devices. It’s thought that using sapphire crystal, which has a hardness second only to diamond, will prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor.

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They insist Apple will employ a capacitive touch home button for the first time with the iPhone 5S, eliminating one of the most unreliable components in an iOS device.

Apple already uses sapphire crystal to protect the iPhone 5’s rear camera lens from scratches, so it won’t be the first time the company is using sapphire in its products. The company’s been experimenting with capacitive home buttons since a few years now, though there’s not been a single iOS device that ships with such a button.

Fingerprint sensing, too, is an area of deep interest to Apple, as evident from the company’s “urgent” $356 million purchase of AuthenTec, a security firm specialising in fingerprint sensors.

ipod touch

An iPod touch prototype with a capacitive home button

This report corroborates earlier claims of the fingerprint chip being located under the home button of the iPhone 5S.

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