Patent, leaked images & invitation add evidence to iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor

It's now believed that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint sensor

Evidence that the iPhone 5S will feature a fingerprint sensor built-in to the Home button is mounting, with new reports suggesting that the iPhone 5S will have a silver ring around the Home button.

The iPhone 5S (Image credit: SonnyDickson.com)
The iPhone 5S (Image credit: SonnyDickson.com)

An Apple patent application, leaked photographs of iPhone 5S packaging and closer inspection of the Apple event invitation seem to confirm that the iPhone 5S will indeed have the rumoured fingerprint sensor, which could enable better security and remove the need for passwords.

Apple iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor patent

A newly discovered Apple patent application reveals a fingerprint sensor with integrated NFC circuitry that could built-in to the iPhone 5S's Home button.

Patently Apple reports that the patent application, filed by Apple last year, details an "electronic device with shared near field communications and sensor structures."

Apple describes that the technology could be a fingerprint sensor that is able to gather data from a portion of an electronic device, specifically mentioning that this portion could be a button.

Illustrations in the patent application show a metal outer ring electrode that could surround the Home button of the iPhone 5S as part of the fingerprint sensor.

The application goes on to describe that the use of NFC (near field communication) in conjunction with the fingerprint sensor could enable further possibilities, such as the ability to carry out secure wireless interactions such as mobile payments.

Additionally, NFC could allow a new way of docking the iPhone, by enabling the device to wirelessly communicate with docking accessories through the technology.

iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor Home button to have silver ring

The fingerprint sensor patent application emerged soon after reports that the iPhone 5S would have a silver ring around the Home button surfaced online on Friday.

In August, Fox News' Clayton Morris suggested that there would be a silver ring around the iPhone 5S Home button, and that rumour has re-emerged thanks to photographs that are claimed to be of the iPhone 5S packaging. The iPhone 5S shown on the front of the box in the image has a silver ring around the Home button.

However, it's unlikely that these photographs are legitimate, because the iPhone 5S shown on the box, while running iOS 7, has no wallpaper.

That said, looking back at the official Apple invitation that Apple sent out on Tuesday last week, you'll spot that there are several white circles with silver/grey rings surrounding them. Apple is known for adding little clues into its invitations, so it's quite possible that these white circles could be a hint at the fingerprint sensor.

We mentioned in our "Decoding Apple's 10 September invite" article last week that we believe the white circles to be significant, because Apple has gone to the effort to include them in the design despite the fact that they require a grey stroke around them.

In July, code spotted in an iOS 7 beta provided key evidence that the iPhone 5S would have a fingerprint sensor, and Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec, a company that specialises in security systems such as fingerprint sensors, also suggests that Apple is working to include such technology in its devices.

We don't have long until we find out for sure what Apple's been up to behind the scenes.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicssmartphoneshardware systemsiPhonetabletsiPad

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashleigh Allsopp

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?