Analyst: iPhone 5S to feature Sapphire-Covered Convex Home Button with Fingerprint Sensor

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Ming-Chi Ku, analyst KGI Securities, who has a good track record when it comes to Apple related rumors, claims in a new research note that the iPhone 5S may include a sapphire-covered convex home button housing a fingerprint sensor.

A convex Home button would be a major change since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 with its iconic concave Home button. He notes that the convex shape will give Apple enough space to embed the fingerprint sensor.

Here’s an excerpt from his research note courtesy MacRumors:

Convex home button creates space for fingerprint sensor; yield to improve. We think that a fingerprint sensor will be placed under the home button of iPhone 5S. However, assembling it could be difficult as the space under home button is limited as it already has to accommodate the Lightning connector, speaker and microphone. Thus, we think the shape of the home button could be changed from concave to convex to create more space for a fingerprint sensor.

Sapphire prevents home button from being scratched. A convex home button could be more easily scratched, so a harder material is required. We believe Apple will switch from plastic to sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond. Sapphire would protect the home button from being scratched and the fingerprint sensor from being damaged.

A convex Home button would be a little odd. We expected the Home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor to be flat, as it would make it easier to swipe on a flat surface to unlock the device, and at the same time making enough space to embed the sensor.

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.

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.

Ku notes that AuthenTec’s RF and capacitive technology rather than the common optical recognition will give Apple an advantage over its competitors as it would be more reliable and unaffected by dust and other contaminants.

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Back in May, a Taiwanese site had also claimed that iPhone 5S will feature a sapphire covered capacitive home button with fingerprint sensor.

As we reported earlier, Apple will reportedly unveil iPhone 5S at a media event on September 10.

Top image credit: GadgetMac

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  • mkimid

    Sapphire is very hard material. But, it can not prevent the scratch if they apply on the convex sharp.

    • The Truth

      True…If you scrape a DIAMOND over the convex Sapphire surface you might scratch it. Now which part of “Sapphire” don’t you understand ?

      • Snapzzz

        And how many ladies wear diamonds on their fingers? Prob not yours!

        Phones in pockets, rings on fingers…..gonna happen.

        • The Truth

          I guess you better wait until Apple comes out with a “Diamond covered” iPhone before you can trust your type of woman with an iPhone…Wait, maybe not since 2 diamond items can still scratch each other. My only suggestion then is to pick a woman who knows how to handle shiny objects.

      • mkimid

        You do not need to wait to verify, because of The Sapphire glass is the very common material for the watch industry. And, it has used over long long time.

      • Bruce

        Do you think the diamond is an only one to make a scratch on the Sapphire, it means, There is no way to make a scratch on Diamond ? Please, check your text book, example, the glasses on iPhone, it is very hard even much less than diamond, how it can got so many scratch on the surface ? even coin (it is very soft) can make a scratch on glass, it is a real world

        • The Truth

          Either you are dyslexic or English is your second language Bruce. Do you know what coating material is utilized on diamond-cutters to “cut” and shape diamonds from a rough stone into their final brilliance? DIAMONDS, which make up the diamond-bladed edges of the equipment. My reply above to Snapzz was meant as sarcasm.

  • Oscar

    Yeahhh! Fingerprint for you know who!!!
    Tracking your ass every second! Can’t wait for the outcome.

  • Steve

    My wife would not be able to use her phone then, coz she burns everything inc her fingers when cooking.. Best get her a Samsung mini thing..

  • Grayson A

    “He notes that the concave shape will give Apple enough space to embed the fingerprint sensor.” It should be convex

  • Grayson A

    “A concave Home button would be a little odd.” Convex again…

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      Thanks fixed!

  • Boyman

    I need that wallpaper in that photo dammit

  • not real image

    Where did the image come from? if this is sopose to be a legit image… why is it not running ios7? hmmmmmm

  • Ingo

    I think you completely mixed up convex and concave. The current Home button is convex. Look here for example for a definition of convex vs. concave: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/osborne/MathTutorial/CV1F.HTM