It has been widely speculated that the next generation iPad Air dubbed iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 3 will come with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
GforGames now reports that Apple is also planning to improve the fingerprint sensor’s durability.
Apple introduced the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in iPhone 5s last year, but did not include it in the iPad Air or the Retina iPad mini. Low yield-rates of the component was said to be the main reason for the limited supply of the iPhone 5s when it launched last year, and the reason for not including it in the iPads.
But it looks like Apple has worked out the supply related issues. The report claims that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is expected to ship 120 million Touch ID modules in 2014, which would represent a growth of 233% last year. TSMC is expected to start shipping the next generation Touch ID module in early July.
Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has a good track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s product plans based on his supply chain sources, had also claimed that Apple will tweak the Touch ID module design. He had mentioned that Apple will use tin instead of the chemicals used previously to enhance durability. We expect iPhone 6 to also come with the improved Touch ID sensors.
In addition to the hardware improvements, Apple has also announced a major enhancement for Touch ID in iOS 8, which will finally allow third-party developers to use Touch ID in third-party apps.
Apple is widely expected to launch the new iPads in October. In addition to Touch ID, the new iPads are also expected to come with Apple’s new A8 chip and an 8-megapixel camera.