March 11, 2013

A translated report this morning from China Times (via Macotakara) appears to claim the iPhone 5S will be the first device from Apple to include fingerprint sensor and NFC technology. According to the report, Taiwanese company Chipbond will provide the integrated touch display driver and other components necessary to implement the technology on the next-generation iPhone. While details of the translated report remain sketchy, it seems to suggest that Apple will use the fingerprint tech that it acquired in its AuthenTec purchase as a security feature for NFC payments:

The the iPhone 5S outgoing will support NFC and fingerprint recognition, fingerprint is more security than passwords, fingerprints can not be copied and will not be stolen, most secure mobile payment device allows Apple iPhone 5S.

Several analysts have predicted that Apple’s iPhone 5S upgrade would include fingerprint technology, especially after the company picked up patents and employees from AuthenTec. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo re-affirmed his earlier claims regarding Apple’s 2013 iPhone roadmap earlier this month and said Apple would include a fingerprint sensor beneath the iPhone 5S’s home button.

We have discussed on several times that Apple could bring fingerprint technology to future iOS devices following its purchase of AuthenTec in July. While including major new hardware features like fingerprint technology and NFC may seem like a bit of a stretch for an “S” upgrade, it could be the stand-out feature Apple needs (as we’ve argued before). expand full story

9to5toys 

While many early iPhone and iPad prototypes were revealed for the first time during the Apple vs. Samsung trial last year, today Ars Technica got its hands on some photos of an extremely early iPhone prototype that had not yet evolved into the iPhone form factor we know today. In fact, the large prototype with exposed components sports a larger roughly 8.6-inch display that looks closer to an iPad.

It is important to remember Steve Jobs told AllThingsD that Apple originally made an iPad, put it on the shelf, and moved to the iPhone. This is what was probably sitting on the shelf.

The prototype is apparently from 2005 and the images come from a former Apple employee who opted to remain anonymous:

That’s why we were excited to receive photos showing an in-house version of the iPhone from early 2005. The images to Ars through a former Apple employee who worked on various Apple hardware projects in the early 2000s and was thus exposed to some of the earliest versions of the iPhone. (He declined to be named out of concern for retribution from Apple.)

While the image above shows a thick, unfinished device with USB ports, Ethernet, and a serial port, the Apple employee told Ars those components were just for the development process and that “at that early date no one knew what [the final device] would be.”

We estimated the roughly 8-inch display based off the total size of the prototype being about 5″x7″. The Apple employee said that it was also about 2 inches thick and, although it “seems large now,” it was “really impressive seeing basically a version of OS X running on it” in 2005.

Ars added that the prototype appears to be running a version of the Samsung S3C2410—”a distant relative of the chip the first iPhone ended up using, just older and slower.”

Indeed, the chip shown above was clocked at 200-233MHz, while the first 2007 iPhone used a 620MHz chip underclocked to 412Mhz. “This chip is also an ARM9 chip, while the original iPhone eventually ended up using an ARM11 chip, but obviously Apple intended to use Samsung-manufactured ARM chips even this far back,” Cunningham said.

We got a look at several images of old iPhone and iPad prototype designs from Apple the vs. Samsung trial case filings last year, but today’s photos are clearly of a much earlier prototypes.

9to5google 

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