WSJ Confirms Apple’s iPhone 5S Will Include Fingerprint Scanner [u]

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The Wall Street Journal reports this evening Apple’s next iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint scanner as rumoured, whereas the feature will be omitted in the lower cost iPhone 5C. The time is now for Apple to debut the feature due to ease of use in the technology, which is seen to be quickly adopted and copied by the company’s competitors:

Apple Inc.’s latest product launch could breathe new life into a technology that failed to take hold the first time: fingerprint scanners.

Placing a finger on a computer or smartphone has long been proposed as a way to avoid the need for passwords to authenticate users of computers and other devices. People familiar with the matter said last week that Apple will include a fingerprint scanner on the more expensive of two iPhones it is expected to unveil Tuesday at an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

The WSJ is known to have reliable sources connected to Apple.

The fingerprint scanner is rumoured to use technology from AuthenTec, a company Apple acquired for $356 million last July. The former’s TruePrint technology uses radio waves to detect layers of skin opposed to traditional thermal recognition sensors which are susceptible to false negatives due to dirty, oily or damaged skin. Rumours of the technology being put to use has been cited by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes the Home button will be covered in sapphire to prevent scratches.

Recent purported leaks of the iPhone 5S retail packaging point to a ring around the Home button, which appears to be related to the new fingerprint technology.

Image via Martin Hajek

Apple is set to announce its new iPhone models tomorrow at 10AM PDT/1PM EDT at its Cupertino Town Hall auditorium. iPhone in Canada will be providing coverage of the event live on Twitter and throughout the day. One more sleep, folks!

Update: Bloomberg seemingly confirms the less-expensive iPhone 5C, in a report published earlier today:

Apple will update its flagship product, adding more colors and a less-expensive model, at an event at its Cupertino, California, headquarters today, a person with knowledge of the plans said last month