According to new rumors that stem from supply chain sources in Taiwan, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S could feature a sapphire crystal home button that comes complete with a new fingerprint sensor.
Apple is reportedly getting rid of the traditional physical home button and turning instead to a touch-sensitive button covered by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. By using the sapphire crystal, Apple hopes to prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor.
The iPhone 5 already features sapphire crystal materials with a sapphire crystal camera lens on the back, which Apple used to prevent scratches from ruining photos. Apple is now expected to use the same material for the iPhone 5S home button.
According to Taiwanese website TechNews, the iPhone 5S won’t be a physical button that you push and instead will be a touch home button. It would get rid of one of the more unreliable aspects of the iPhone as the home button occasionally fails after being used for a long time as it collects dirt and other grime from daily usage.
Since Apple acquired AuthenTec last year, it’s been rumored that Apple would employ touch sensors in the next iPhone, and the use of sapphire crystals makes this rumor even more plausible. Add in Apple’s penchant for removing unnecessary buttons and ports, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for an Apple rumor.
TechNews says the next-generation iPhone will launch in August or September, along with the rumored plastic lower-cost iPhone.