With the iPhone 5s, Apple introduced a fingerprint scanner that’s built right into the home button, thanks to the use of protective sapphire and new Touch ID software. Now DigiTimes is claiming that Apple may use the same material for the iPad 5‘s home button, all but implying that the upcoming tablet will feature a fingerprint sensor as well. The new report cites “Taiwan-based sapphire makers,” but we’d take these claims with more than a few grains of salt, considering DigiTimes’ spotty track record when it comes to smartphone rumors.
Putting a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s makes sense. Saving even just a few nano-seconds each time you unlock your phone will add up quickly considering how often most of us check our device’s on a daily basis. Tablets, on the other hand, get less use, and are generally used for longer periods of time instead of in short stints regularly throughout the day. Reports have also surfaced suggested that iPhone 5s supplies will be constrained at launch due to difficulties manufacturing the fingerprint sensor technology, so why would Apple slow production down even more by bringing Touch ID to the iPad?
DigiTimes also reports that Apple may replace the iPhone’s glass display with sapphire starting in 2014 with the iPhone 6. Using the material would certainly make Apple’s smartphones more durable, but the high price of sapphire alone could be enough to keep the company from making the switch.