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With the announcement of the new iPads approaching later this month, rumors surrounding the new full-sized iPad have centered around a thinner, lighter design, but it’s been unclear if the new tablet will sport the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system from the iPhone 5s. I’ve heard that Apple’s most recent internal next-generation iPad prototypes have lacked Touch ID sensors, so it’s unclear if it will make the cut for this year. There are a few reasons why Touch ID wouldn’t make sense on an iPad this year:

  • Exclusivity to iPhone 5s could help with sales for Apple’s flagship phone. Notice the iPhone 5c doesn’t have it.
  • Supplies for Sapphire Crystal are obviously tight.
  • Touch ID would be better suited for an iPad capable of multiple users; is the OS even ready for that?

On the other hand, bringing Touch ID to the iPad this year would create consistency for Apple’s fall 2013 iOS Device line. Apple’s iPhone 5s internal test units did not gain Touch ID until late into testing, so there isn’t conclusive evidence right now for either direction…

Trying to lean into the direction of the new fifth-generation iPad including Touch ID, a YouTuber has torn apart his iPhone 5s to remove the Touch ID sensor and gold metal ring. The user than noted that the Touch ID sensor’s metal ring fits perfectly into a purported fifth-generation iPad front-plate. While this may seem like conclusive evidence to some for the new iPad including Touch ID, I have a couple reasons for doubt:

  • Who knows if the leaked front-plate is even legitimate or the final product?
  • Home button size has not drastically differed across Apple devices, so this could just be a coincidence.
  • It’s unclear if the iPhone 5s’s Touch ID internal components would even properly fit in the iPad. All we have here is a front plate.

Nonetheless, come later this month, it’s likely that we’ll get all the official details from Apple on the 64-bit, A7X-packing full-sized iPad and a Retina iPad mini that looks nearly identical to the current iPad mini.