iPhone 5S fingerprint sensors leak

Apple's September 10th event is fast approaching, and we are likely to see the unveiling of the iPhone 5S and a lower cost plastic iPhone 5C. A feature rumoured to make an appearance in at least one of these new devices is a fingerprint sensor, embedded within the home button, demonstrating Apple's first foray into biometrics.

It may be that users only need to press the home button to wake up the device, as they usually do, and have it automatically unlock for them, removing the need for a passcode. Blogger Sonny Dickson posted these images, which shows the tiny sensor attached to a ribbon cable.

You may like to judge for yourselves on whether you think these are legitimate parts, as they are drastically different to previous home button connectors, found in the iPhone 5. However this isn't the only leak of this sort, as French site NWE posted similar pictures earlier this week, which are almost identical to the new leaks.

Last year, Apple acquired AuthenTec, a company that specialises in biometrics, so since then we have expected to see Apple utilise their new expertise. 

Sources: Sonny Dickson and NWE

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Don't care! I've never used a password on any phone I've owned over the last 14 years. I suppose for convenience if it was ultra quick I'd use the fingerprint scanner just because it was there... maybe this is aimed towards people like me, where it's better than nothing.

Only reason I activated the pass code is to stop my friends and family snooping my phone. That's it. Fingure print reader means its just enough security not to need a pass code but still keeps then out. All this James Bond 007 and mission impossible stuff us just fantasy in the mind of teens with too much time on their hands.

So wait, they are removing passcodes in favor of this fingerprint scanner, or can you use both? Where is voice/facial recognition if we're going biometrical? Seems with a nice shiny glass screen device that Im constantly touching fingerprints could be lifted and transferred...

" ... which shows the tiny sensor attached to a ribbon cable."

it's not a ribbon cable. it's a flex circuit. but who am i to argue with 'unprofessional journalism'.

Actually I kind of liked it on my Atrix. The main problem is it didn't work well when you got fingerprints on it scanning your fingerprint. You have to to wipe it clean with your shirt tail or something. Putting out old stuff like this as a new feature does show some desperation on Apple's part to try and come up with a new novelty to support that big profit margin.

Wouldn't this still vulnerable to cutting off the finger ?
And if they apply a heat sensor / humidity to make sure the finger is alive, wouldn't it still vulnerable to warm water and salt through a tube inside the finger?
These devices have their vulnerabilities, I hope it's only used to something as simple as unlocking a device, because if this gives access to more user stuff like banking app, ... hum, I hope they add more layers of security.

Wow, how does Apple come up with these revolutionary ideas? I am shocked at such an amazing idea! They are an industry leader in implementing new technology before anyone else does!

neufuse said,
Wow, how does Apple come up with these revolutionary ideas? I am shocked at such an amazing idea! They are an industry leader in implementing new technology before anyone else does!
Weird thing is, they usually do it "right" when doing it.

If this was on the Lumia, all the above hate would be in reverse. I come to Neowin for a chuckle when my day seems like it will never end.

do have a question about the security, say you lock it with ur thumb (which will leave a print as phones are fingerprint magnets) someone steals said phone, all they have to do then if lift the print and they've got access......to me that seems easier than cracking a 4 pin code.

Guess it really comes down to whether they used a high quality sensitive scanner (but again must have a few degrees of freedom or there will be many failed attempts) or they used a low quality one to which lifting a print will easily work

Only on this site can you find so many people bash what will likely end up on all our phones next year. Apple will get this right and the others will follow and I'll be glad. I'm tired of an insecure phone and typing in passwords for every little thing.

Works the other way too - I have NFC and wireless charging in my current device and have done for some time now.. Oddly enough I really like both and they're hardly essential. Then of course there's higher PPI screens on some phones and much better cameras.
I'd say the the days of Apple leading the pack are somewhat behind us - and that's disappointing because competition is good for all of us. I suspect the new iPhone will be pretty boring much like the last one - if fingerprint unlock is a halo feature for them then they're really not pushing things forward enough. I don't really care who makes my next device - I just want to want it. iPhones aren't doing that right now.

Hahaiah said,
Only on this site can you find so many people bash what will likely end up on all our phones next year. Apple will get this right and the others will follow and I'll be glad. I'm tired of an insecure phone and typing in passwords for every little thing.

Not really. Apple will contradict themselves here. A one handed phone except to unlock it.

You also forget, you still need a passcode to get into to your phone.

Yes, but is it magical and ground-breaking? You see, that's how Apple's will be. BECAUSE EVERYTHING APPLE DOES IS MAGICAL AND GROUNDBREAKING!!!

It was a button and a sensor back of the phone, I was surprised since it's a 3 yr old phone. I agree, if a non-Apple company does it, it's a gimmick but if Apple does it, it's groundbreaking.

devHead said,
Yes, but is it magical and ground-breaking? You see, that's how Apple's will be. BECAUSE EVERYTHING APPLE DOES IS MAGICAL AND GROUNDBREAKING!!!

The secret is in the unicorn blood. Sorry Google and Microsoft, Apple has a patent on Unicorn Blood.

mr_sock_00 said,
I was making fun of my friend's Motorola Atrix for being old. But I saw it had a finger print sensor like this.

Err... the Atrix had a scanner that is completely different than this...

Even after I owned an Atrix for a year, I didn't know it had a fingerprint sensor in it. There was a lack of marketing around it. Still haven't used it, and I believe the proprietary drivers for it was locked to Gingerbread. A few Apple TV ads showing this functionality and it'll be a success.

Umm... on the Atrix you have to swipe your finger, just like every other scanner that's been around for decades.

Whatever Apple designed doesn't require a swipe.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Umm... on the Atrix you have to swipe your finger, just like every other scanner that's been around for decades.

Whatever Apple designed doesn't require a swipe.

Dude, what the heck are you smoking? Whether you swipe of press, the basic technology is the same. It is a biometric sensor. Depending on how old the implementation is, is how it works. Example, when cops take finger prints, they use an old implementation where they actually roll your finger to get a full print. As time went bye, the tech improved to a swipe. This new company simply improved it to a press. But the technology behind is the same...just improved.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Umm... on the Atrix you have to swipe your finger, just like every other scanner that's been around for decades.

Whatever Apple designed doesn't require a swipe.

Roll, swipe, press, lick...whatever. Its the same concept. Changing how you do something does mean it is different. The concept is, you need to have a fingerprint match. Whether you roll the finger, swipe the finger or press the finger, you must provide the fingerprint match which is what biometrics does. How you choose to implement the concept is irrelevant to the point. All Apple did was making it part of the home button, unlike on laptops to the Atrix where they used a scanner. For one, the Atrix and laptops are big enough to make room for scanner hardware. The iPhone is likely to thin and to small to have room for the scanner. The battery takes up nearly 50% of the case and the PCB is on the other side. So the only option was to place it here. That is not some miracle or innovation. What it is though is an evolutionary progressive step using an old technology that has been around for centuries.

Here is a fact whether its the cops/FBI, who use the old tech where they roll your finger for prints, or the scanner where you have to swipe, or even Apple's way they all have something in common. Your fingers must be clean and not cold, or dry or even wet. The surface where the reader is must be clean, no oils or cold etc.

Its not different.

TechieXP said,
Dude, what the heck are you smoking? Whether you swipe of press, the basic technology is the same. It is a biometric sensor. Depending on how old the implementation is, is how it works. Example, when cops take finger prints, they use an old implementation where they actually roll your finger to get a full print. As time went bye, the tech improved to a swipe. This new company simply improved it to a press. But the technology behind is the same...just improved.

What am I smoking? Who here is saying that Apple is inventing the biometric sensor? Obviously just you.

Requiring a finger swipe on a phone is inconvenient and annoying, which is the reason why the implementation of it on the Atrix is atrocious. If Apple has figured out a way to scan during the button press and nothing further is needed, that is a massive step up and is magnitudes better than anything else on the market.

A button press is much different than a swipe... Perhaps you should do a bit better job at understanding the context...

TechieXP said,

Here is a fact whether its the cops/FBI, who use the old tech where they roll your finger for prints, or the scanner where you have to swipe, or even Apple's way they all have something in common. Your fingers must be clean and not cold, or dry or even wet. The surface where the reader is must be clean, no oils or cold etc.
Its not different.

You're making assumptions...
Who's to say that Apple hasn't figured a way to get past all those requirements?
If they implement it into a simple button-press and it works well, that would be a huge advancement in the tech.

Just because you think you have a solid understand on how it used to work, doesn't mean somebody won't find a way to make it better...

Astra.Xtreme said,

You're making assumptions...
Who's to say that Apple hasn't figured a way to get past all those requirements?
If they implement it into a simple button-press and it works well, that would be a huge advancement in the tech.

Just because you think you have a solid understand on how it used to work, doesn't mean somebody won't find a way to make it better...

No...they are not assumption. In order for the sensor to work it MUST get an accurate read of your print.
I am sure you have seen a fingerprint up close...right? If you get oils in the grooves, the sensor will fail, a cold finger is rendered dead and as sensor must have heat to work, and they must be clean for the same reason as grease/oil. Dude...thse are not assumption. We are talking a fingerprint. If any of these problems exist, it wont work. Those are cold hard facts, not assumptions.

Here is a fact for you. A coroner will tell you, if you find a dead body, it is best to get the body to him as soon as possible. As the body gets cold, many elements are harder to use. If the hand is cold, finger-printers are harder to get, the coroner will have to heat up the hand manually to get a print, providing the hand hasn't decayed.

IMO you seem to have it in your head that just because an old technology is being presented different, that it also somehow works different. Look at all these tech toys. They are all presenting old technology in a new way. Still works the same. In fact for a smartphone to make calls, it still uses that same old POTS concept from the days of Bell Labs. For example, when you make a phone call, the dial tone you hear isnt even real. Its a sound file played by the server. The reason? If a person picked up the phone and didnt hear the tone, they assume you cant make a call. You dont even need the tone to make a call.

TechieXP said,
ramble

What are you going on about? Almost all of that has absolutely nothing to do with what's being discussed...
Answer this: Is the method of the isometric sensor in the iPhone a new way of presenting that technology? The answer is yes. The reviews say that it works exactly how I explained it, so there's no reason for you to make assumptions otherwise. Get over it...

Astra.Xtreme said,

What am I smoking? Who here is saying that Apple is inventing the biometric sensor? Obviously just you.

Requiring a finger swipe on a phone is inconvenient and annoying, which is the reason why the implementation of it on the Atrix is atrocious. If Apple has figured out a way to scan during the button press and nothing further is needed, that is a massive step up and is magnitudes better than anything else on the market.

A button press is much different than a swipe... Perhaps you should do a bit better job at understanding the context...

I never said they invented anything. Your claim was that some how Apple way was going to be so much better than what we had in the past, and the fact is it the same technology presented in a different form factor. Apple didn't invent sh*t as per usual. They bought the tech by buying the company that made it, just like they did Siri.

What's so funny is everyone criticized the Atrix by Moto who's sensor was made by this SAME COMPANY! lol

Astra.Xtreme said,

What are you going on about? Almost all of that has absolutely nothing to do with what's being discussed...
Answer this: Is the method of the isometric sensor in the iPhone a new way of presenting that technology? The answer is yes. The reviews say that it works exactly how I explained it, so there's no reason for you to make assumptions otherwise. Get over it...
I didn't make any assumption. My point was simple. The sensor no matter how it is presented will fail under the scenarios I mentioned. So you get over it. Tell you what, when you go waste your time an buy this device, I want you to set up the sensor and then go grease up your fingers with a greasy hamburger or just wet them with water and then press the sensor and see how far you get.

TechieXP said,
I didn't make any assumption. My point was simple. The sensor no matter how it is presented will fail under the scenarios I mentioned. So you get over it. Tell you what, when you go waste your time an buy this device, I want you to set up the sensor and then go grease up your fingers with a greasy hamburger or just wet them with water and then press the sensor and see how far you get.

You're really grasping at straws here... In no circumstance would I be using my phone when my hands are greasy or wet to that extent. It's not difficult to wipe your hand on your shirt or pants... All you're doing is rambling for no reason, so again, get over it...

Astra.Xtreme said,

You're really grasping at straws here... In no circumstance would I be using my phone when my hands are greasy or wet to that extent. It's not difficult to wipe your hand on your shirt or pants... All you're doing is rambling for no reason, so again, get over it...

Awwwww....don't be mad because you can't counter my argument.

Oh and I do agree, you could wipe your hands on your pants, but that doesn't mean you always will. Also it doesn't have to be a lot of an oily substance. All you need is a small amount like residue left from lotions or for people who naturally produce oils from their skin.

You ever been fingerprinted? I did for the first time by immigration for my wife. My hands produce oils especially when I sweat. I had to wash my hands more than once to get successful fingerprints. I speak from experience, not assumption.

TechieXP said,
Awwwww....don't be mad because you can't counter my argument.

Oh and I do agree, you could wipe your hands on your pants, but that doesn't mean you always will. Also it doesn't have to be a lot of an oily substance. All you need is a small amount like residue left from lotions or for people who naturally produce oils from their skin.

You ever been fingerprinted? I did for the first time by immigration for my wife. My hands produce oils especially when I sweat. I had to wash my hands more than once to get successful fingerprints. I speak from experience, not assumption.

Counter what? All you're doing is throwing around assumptions and speculation at something you clearly don't understand. Is it that you can't handle being wrong, or are you deeply hurt that Apple may have refined yet another technology?
Like I already said, go look at the reviews. Everybody is saying that it works perfectly fine, so it's obviously not as picky as you're claiming. Unless you have something that proves everybody wrong, your "word" means absolutely nothing...

Instead of sliding a finger, what shout just pressing the home button as you normally would? Then it could scan just like that.

Vveazel said,
Now Apple will start harvesting people's finger prints. -_-

I'm not concerned about Apple having my fingerprint - they make their money from hardware. When Google bakes this into Android that's when I would be worried, as Google makes its money by selling your data/profile to advertisers

paulheu said,
Shocking and ground breaking, my 2003 laptop did this..

Oh well lets just stop the development of anything ever, then, shall we?

Your laptop could browse the internet in 2003 but your not complaining about that feature on your phone are you?

Uplift said,
Oh well lets just stop the development of anything ever, then, shall we?
Not the point and I would hope you understand that. Apple will bring this as a ground breaking new feature which it is not. It is also generally cumbersome and unreliable.

We'll probably find out more in a few days..

paulheu said,
Not the point and I would hope you understand that. Apple will bring this as a ground breaking new feature which it is not. It is also generally cumbersome and unreliable.

We'll probably find out more in a few days..

So what if they advertise it as "ground breaking?" 'tis a marketing claim.

It's more to do with the implementation than the technology itself. If this unlocks the phone with a single press of the home button, I expect it will be a pretty convenient feature!

paulheu said,
Shocking and ground breaking, my 2003 laptop did this..
Let me guess, if this was a new feature on your phone, you would come up reasons why its a "nice feature". Good lord........

paulheu said,
Shocking and ground breaking, my 2003 laptop did this..

Funny, the only people running around here and bringing up the ground breaking bit are the usual anti-Apple avatars who would be busting their pants wide open if this technology came out on their phone of choice.

Adding a finger scanner is easy. What they plan to do with it is what counts.

Axel said,
It's more to do with the implementation than the technology itself. If this unlocks the phone with a single press of the home button, I expect it will be a pretty convenient feature!
But it like won't. Even if so, that would mean:
1. You would always have to use the same finger. - For a device you pull out your pockets 100's of times to use, there is going to be a point you will forget.

2. You will have to place your finger in exactly the same place or within a very low tolerance position.

I rather type a strong password if its that serious.

why use the same finger.. i can unlock my lenovo using all my fingers.
error tolerance is something you could be thinking about after they released it
strong passwords as lockscreen for a smartphone.. have fun.

It's just a useless gimmick. I had a phone with a fingerprint scanner several years ago. I turned the bloody thing off after a day, it was annoying.

FloatingFatMan said,
It's just a useless gimmick. I had a phone with a fingerprint scanner several years ago. I turned the bloody thing off after a day, it was annoying.

Not being a fanboy, but Apple will likely do it 'right' ... unlocking the phone without using a pass code would be amazing. It's the worst part of using a phone, imo.

FloatingFatMan said,
How much more "right" can you do it than just sliding your finger over the sensor? It's still a useless gimmick and bloody annoying.

Ssshhhhh... Apple will somehow do it "different". And it'll "just work".

I disagree. I feel that a fingerprint reader in a mobile device these days should be mandatory.

The typical 4-digit lockscreen pin code is just silly (almost everybody does it in the Netherlands, except me). But the biggest application could be, if well exposed with _secure and proper implemented_ API's, for use in banking apps.

Right now, my bank (The Dutch "ING") has a laughable security in place. The web-based interface requires you to enter a "TAN" code that gets sent via SMS on every transaction.

The banking app first requires you to fill in lots of security information to initialize the app with your account and then asks you to think of a 5 digit pin code for the app itself. This is the only security measure of the app, after entering the 5 digits properly (can easily be spied on and the device stolen!) you have complete access to the account. I understand that this is more secure than asking a user enter a very long and tedious character based password on their touch screen devices and then send a TAN code to that same device.
But a fingerprint reader would make these kinds of things much more secure, if implemented properly.

But what I'd really want is E-Fuses in the main processors of smartphones. These smartphones should be able to receive a push message telling them to blow the fuse if it is stolen.

FloatingFatMan said,
How much more "right" can you do it than just sliding your finger over the sensor? It's still a useless gimmick and bloody annoying.

Well I think the rumor is that it will scan your finger quickly when you press the home button. So basically it won't require any extra work from the user. How well it will work is a different story. If it works well, then great, but I'll still most likely disable it.

FloatingFatMan said,
It's just a useless gimmick. I had a phone with a fingerprint scanner several years ago. I turned the bloody thing off after a day, it was annoying.

Couldn't disagree more. My brother's phone has a fingerprint sensor and it makes it much quicker to access the phone than a pin-code or swipe-pattern. There is no logic to disabling a feature that improves security and reduces the time it takes to access your phone.

As for Apple, I have no doubt that the implementation will be a step above that of the competition so I think it's a great move.

Coolicer said,
I disagree. I feel that a fingerprint reader in a mobile device these days should be mandatory.

The typical 4-digit lockscreen pin code is just silly (almost everybody does it in the Netherlands, except me). But the biggest application could be, if well exposed with _secure and proper implemented_ API's, for use in banking apps.

Right now, my bank (The Dutch "ING") has a laughable security in place. The web-based interface requires you to enter a "TAN" code that gets sent via SMS on every transaction.

The banking app first requires you to fill in lots of security information to initialize the app with your account and then asks you to think of a 5 digit pin code for the app itself. This is the only security measure of the app, after entering the 5 digits properly (can easily be spied on and the device stolen!) you have complete access to the account. I understand that this is more secure than asking a user enter a very long and tedious character based password on their touch screen devices and then send a TAN code to that same device.
But a fingerprint reader would make these kinds of things much more secure, if implemented properly.

But what I'd really want is E-Fuses in the main processors of smartphones. These smartphones should be able to receive a push message telling them to blow the fuse if it is stolen.

mandatory ? no optional yes

Coolicer said,
But what I'd really want is E-Fuses in the main processors of smartphones. These smartphones should be able to receive a push message telling them to blow the fuse if it is stolen.

They work like this already, when your phone is managed by your company's Google Apps domain (or you install the right software if not on a Google domain, can't recall which) there's a remote switch that can wipe your device clean in case it gets stolen/lost.

theyarecomingforyou said,
As for Apple, I have no doubt that the implementation will be a step above that of the competition so I think it's a great move.

I actually quite like the idea (despite it being pants for security it does seem more useful than a pin) but that zinger made me spit out my coffee.. I shall await the 'magic amazing' finger unlock with baited breath!

FloatingFatMan said,
He's not talking about a remote wipe, he's talking about remote destruct. Fry the fuse in the CPU and render the device totally dead, forever.

and you could still use the rest of it for spare parts (case, screen, battery if removable, camera sensor, etc.), or even make it work again by replacing the motherboard.
So, what's the point? Unless you are rigging the entire device with C4 then there will always be something valuable for a thief.

FloatingFatMan said,
It's just a useless gimmick. I had a phone with a fingerprint scanner several years ago. I turned the bloody thing off after a day, it was annoying.

actually it would be very helpful for me. because of corporate setting I have to put minimum 8 character password which I have to change every couple of months. If finger print give me relief on typing password every single time I want to use my phone, I will definitely be a fan of iphone 5s

A thief gets only a tiny amount for such a phone. And in this case the phone becomes quite useless. Replacing a motherboard on such a device is no trivial task.

I feel that such E-Fuses would severely impact the theft of smart devices. A thief just wouldn't really be able find a buyer for a nice price for a device that can die any second. Sure, some people might buy stolen phones in bulk for the parts for tiny sums per phone so stealing phones for its parts would not be very enticing.

Uplift said,

Not being a fanboy, but Apple will likely do it 'right' ... unlocking the phone without using a pass code would be amazing. It's the worst part of using a phone, imo.

Even if Apple does 'do it right', the sad fact is this is far less secure than a passcode. (Although smudges on a dirty screen can make it easier to crack a pass code as well.)

theyarecomingforyou said,

Couldn't disagree more. My brother's phone has a fingerprint sensor and it makes it much quicker to access the phone than a pin-code or swipe-pattern. There is no logic to disabling a feature that improves security and reduces the time it takes to access your phone.

As for Apple, I have no doubt that the implementation will be a step above that of the competition so I think it's a great move.

Your comment is an illustration of why this type of feature can harm consumers.

"...improves security..."

Even the higher end fingerprint scanners are too easy to crack based on how they fundamentally work.

A passcode is less obvious to crack; however, give me 30 seconds with any fingerprint secured device and I'll have it unlocked.

Fingerprint scanners are for convenience, but are not a secure solution.

I would bet that some of you or your brother's friends know how to circumvent a fingerprint scanner or can do a few online searches and be able to enjoy reading your brother's messages and email anytime they want.

Mobius Enigma said,

Even if Apple does 'do it right', the sad fact is this is far less secure than a passcode. (Although smudges on a dirty screen can make it easier to crack a pass code as well.)

How do you figure? Cracking a passcode is much easier than having an exact copy of somebody's finger print.

Mobius Enigma said,
Your comment is an illustration of why this type of feature can harm consumers.

"...improves security..."

Even the higher end fingerprint scanners are too easy to crack based on how they fundamentally work.

A passcode is less obvious to crack; however, give me 30 seconds with any fingerprint secured device and I'll have it unlocked.

I disagree. Somebody with no technical knowledge can access somebody's phone by simply watching them when they unlock it with a pin-code or swipe-pattern, which isn't possible with a fingerprint scanner. The reality is that ANY phone in the hands of a professional thief will be quickly cracked but fingerprint scanners offer a decent level of security for the average user, especially in comparison to traditional methods.

Astra.Xtreme said,

How do you figure? Cracking a passcode is much easier than having an exact copy of somebody's finger print.

Not when the fingerprints you need are ALL over the phone as they belong to the owner.

Mobius Enigma said,
Not when the fingerprints you need are ALL over the phone as they belong to the owner.

You're talking about numerous fingerprints, most of which will be for the wrong finger or will be partial prints that are unusable. Even then it requires supplies for lifting the prints and can't be done in public, unlike guessing a pin-code or swipe-pattern.

Most security is aimed at preventing casual thieves or friends / co-workers from accessing the device. Once the phone has been stolen and is out of sight then no current method will help.

theyarecomingforyou said,

You're talking about numerous fingerprints, most of which will be for the wrong finger or will be partial prints that are unusable. Even then it requires supplies for lifting the prints and can't be done in public, unlike guessing a pin-code or swipe-pattern.

Most security is aimed at preventing casual thieves or friends / co-workers from accessing the device. Once the phone has been stolen and is out of sight then no current method will help.

It isn't as 'covert', but is technically easier.

Guessing a passcode is not a certainty.

However, you have certainty that the majority of fingerprints on the device are the right answer. Even if it takes 5 attempts, you know you have the answer in the five attempts.

It is a 'handy' feature, but as I was trying to illustrate based on the user perception above, it is incorrect to think it is 'more secure'.

Mobius Enigma said,

Not when the fingerprints you need are ALL over the phone as they belong to the owner.

Good luck pulling a crisp finger print off of a phone screen.

Coolicer said,
A thief gets only a tiny amount for such a phone. And in this case the phone becomes quite useless. Replacing a motherboard on such a device is no trivial task.

I feel that such E-Fuses would severely impact the theft of smart devices. A thief just wouldn't really be able find a buyer for a nice price for a device that can die any second. Sure, some people might buy stolen phones in bulk for the parts for tiny sums per phone so stealing phones for its parts would not be very enticing.


because being unable to sell a stolen car in full because of serial numbers etched in the engine and other parts has deterred car theft, right?
You will only lower the value per device, which means that to make the same amount of money they need to steal more. Not the best solution IMO.

That's a straw man argument right there. Burning the fuses in the main SoC basically makes the whole motherboard useless.

Using a car analogy, it would be closer to something like remotely making the whole motor, with the gearbox and all forever unrepairably useless.

Lowering the value per device is EXACTLY what you want, if it is low enough the incentive is gone. Plus don't forget that a lot thieves are people that steal trying to make a quick buck.

Mobius Enigma said,

Even if Apple does 'do it right', the sad fact is this is far less secure than a passcode. (Although smudges on a dirty screen can make it easier to crack a pass code as well.)

Well if a person cares about security or is paranoid, whichever applies; they wouldnt be using a 4-digit passcode. They would use a strong password.

Also people who just leave their phone laying on their desk or car to get stolen. My phone is used in my house and at work and it is either always in front of me or in my hand or pocket. I dont leave it anywhere so I seldom lock it.

You basically have to consider where you work or live and how clumsy you are to maybe drop your phone. Which just a week or so ago, someone dropped their iPhone 5 and wasn't even aware and it was unlock. I am glad it was, so that I was able to call someone who knew the owner. I know not everyone is going to be as honest. Which is why you shouldnt be careless with a phone where security on this level is such a huge deal.

I think a biometric sensor on a phone is rather gimmicky, unless you are a businessman/woman. I say this because they potentially travel. The phone could easily be left on a conveyor at an airport or something when they are rushing ot catch a plane or train. But for an everyday Tom, Dick and Harry it just is a worthless extra.

I would rather Apple use 32GB of flash as a minimum storage and dump the 16GB models of i/Phone/Pad/Pod. I rather they make the device a bit bigger. I rather they actually add useful software features. This sensor is as gimmicky as Siri. I

I am not saying its a bad idea, I am saying their are BETTER ideas.

Coolicer said,
a lot thieves

[citation needed]
how many? you may decrease the casuals (the ones going for a quick buck), and might be increasing the high volume ones. You are betting on a strategy that might either work or do nothing at all over the overall volume of devices stolen, just that with this new strategy once you catch the thief, your belongings are now useless.

Astra.Xtreme said,

How do you figure? Cracking a passcode is much easier than having an exact copy of somebody's finger print.

False. You do watch cop shows...right? Fingerprints can easily be gotten from a glass, from clothes or any smooth surface. A passcode is a guessing game. What sucks about iPhone is they use 4 digit codes. With time, yes it can be figured out because it only 4 numbers and there are only so many combinations.

But what about passwords? Why dont people simply use a strong or very strong password? Because they are lazy. How many ppl you think are going to disable the fingerprint thing? LOTS. Why? Because in order for this to work which is easy to figure out, the person isn't swiping. But they would have to put their finger in the exact same position each time.

Any security meansure can be circumvented. They all require one thing...TIME. Fingerprint reader? Where if you are that important of a person and you have info someone wants, all they have to do is hold a gun to your head and make you unlock the phone. Or they can simply cut off all your fingers like the Mafia does. Or they can just kill you and try all 10 fingers .

The only thing I heard from another blog, is Apple could tie in wiping the phone to the reader. So if someone steals your phone, if it is locked with a fingerprint, it would prevent someone from being able to put the phone in DFU mode to wipe it an install the firmware.

The reason this is gimmicky is because the vast majority of phone users dont have info that is that important to secure. Unless you contacts are military personnel, government agents or politicians or similar, what do you have that is worth stealing in the first place? Anyone who has such would already have a very protected phone. This isn't going to make it anymore secure.

TechieXP said,
snip

People that steal phones aren't going to have the expensive equipment to properly lift and mirror a fingerprint. Plus like I said, good luck pulling a crisp fingerprint from the correct finger from the phone. There are very very few people in the world that would go to such lengths to attempt it, and there's no point in worrying about them.

Cars get stolen here and there, but car companies don't go to extreme lengths to prevent it. It's not worth their effort.

TechieXP said,
False. You do watch cop shows...right? Fingerprints can easily be gotten from a glass, from clothes or any smooth surface. A passcode is a guessing game. What sucks about iPhone is they use 4 digit codes. With time, yes it can be figured out because it only 4 numbers and there are only so many combinations.

Good grief. If people are going to go to the effort of pulling your fingerprints in order to access your phone then they're just as likely to watch you enter your pin or swipe code. You're talking nonsense mate.

TechieXP said,
But what about passwords? Why dont people simply use a strong or very strong password? Because they are lazy.

It's about convenience. You can't expect people to enter a 20-digit passcode to login, even though it provides better security. That's why fingerprints are the logical approach, as it doesn't matter if somebody is watching you at the time.

TechieXP said,
Any security meansure can be circumvented. They all require one thing...TIME. Fingerprint reader? Where if you are that important of a person and you have info someone wants, all they have to do is hold a gun to your head and make you unlock the phone. Or they can simply cut off all your fingers like the Mafia does. Or they can just kill you and try all 10 fingers .

No comment.

TechieXP said,
The reason this is gimmicky is because the vast majority of phone users dont have info that is that important to secure. Unless you contacts are military personnel, government agents or politicians or similar, what do you have that is worth stealing in the first place? Anyone who has such would already have a very protected phone. This isn't going to make it anymore secure.

Now you seem to be suggesting that even if it is more secure there's no point because people don't need security. You're simply being contrary for the sake of it. You simply want to find fault with this, even though you know this will be a widely used feature that will improve security for the average person.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Now you seem to be suggesting that even if it is more secure there's no point because people don't need security. You're simply being contrary for the sake of it. You simply want to find fault with this, even though you know this will be a widely used feature that will improve security for the average person.

Exactly! There are a lot of people out there that don't use a passcode because they're annoying to use. Myself included. If they come up with a way to integrate it into a simple button-press, then there's basically no reason for anybody to not use it. If it's really that easy, I'll probably use it too. Overall, it could lead to an impressive boost in secure phones in people's hands.

TechieXP said,
Well if a person cares about security or is paranoid, whichever applies; they wouldnt be using a 4-digit passcode. They would use a strong password.

Also people who just leave their phone laying on their desk or car to get stolen. My phone is used in my house and at work and it is either always in front of me or in my hand or pocket. I dont leave it anywhere so I seldom lock it.

You basically have to consider where you work or live and how clumsy you are to maybe drop your phone. Which just a week or so ago, someone dropped their iPhone 5 and wasn't even aware and it was unlock. I am glad it was, so that I was able to call someone who knew the owner. I know not everyone is going to be as honest. Which is why you shouldnt be careless with a phone where security on this level is such a huge deal.

I think a biometric sensor on a phone is rather gimmicky, unless you are a businessman/woman. I say this because they potentially travel. The phone could easily be left on a conveyor at an airport or something when they are rushing ot catch a plane or train. But for an everyday Tom, Dick and Harry it just is a worthless extra.

I would rather Apple use 32GB of flash as a minimum storage and dump the 16GB models of i/Phone/Pad/Pod. I rather they make the device a bit bigger. I rather they actually add useful software features. This sensor is as gimmicky as Siri. I

I am not saying its a bad idea, I am saying their are BETTER ideas.

I agree...

I don't use a passcode on my phone, as it always in my possession. With the WP ability to locate or lock the phone from the web at any moment, I can secure my phone even if I did leave it somewhere.

The problem is users will think Apple's biometric is 'more secure' or 'truly secure', which is already depicted in the comments here.

It is like the 'pattern' lock on Android, I have people flat out tell me that it is more secure than a passcode. When I reality, the Android pattern is the equivalent of a 9 digit keypad. People don't realize they can make the same type of 'pattern' passcode with the keypad, the 'pattern' lock on Android is only slightly easier to unlock a device as it is swiping instead of tapping out the pattern.

Astra.Xtreme said,

People that steal phones aren't going to have the expensive equipment to properly lift and mirror a fingerprint. Plus like I said, good luck pulling a crisp fingerprint from the correct finger from the phone. There are very very few people in the world that would go to such lengths to attempt it, and there's no point in worrying about them.

Cars get stolen here and there, but car companies don't go to extreme lengths to prevent it. It's not worth their effort.

Give me 30 seconds and any adhesive medium. Gum, Tape, etc...

Mobius Enigma said,

Give me 30 seconds and any adhesive medium. Gum, Tape, etc...

And how exactly is that going to mimic an actual finger? Light and capacitance will likely be taken into consideration during the scan.

Ah, forgot to remove that weasel word. The thieves I've seen, heard of and mostly read about on the internet comment sections/forums/blogs/whatever (not news)

Astra.Xtreme said,
Exactly! There are a lot of people out there that don't use a passcode because they're annoying to use. Myself included. If they come up with a way to integrate it into a simple button-press, then there's basically no reason for anybody to not use it. If it's really that easy, I'll probably use it too. Overall, it could lead to an impressive boost in secure phones in people's hands.

Double agree! I took my passcode off because I started to get really annoyed by how inconvenient it was.

Also, this whole idea that somehow a passcode is more secure is really silly. I can sit around casually and pick up a passcode or pattern just talking with someone. I don't ever use it of course, since I don't steal phones, but it's fun to find out what they are lol. The idea of someone having both my fingerprint in a readable form AND my phone for a long enough time to actually pull it off (unless it was stolen), yeah... that's just not gonna happen. Sorry.

Truth be told, I'd be more worried of someone who knew my code grabbing my phone for a couple seconds when I went to the bathroom to see what I have on there or whatever. (of course, I'm also not stupid enough to leave my phone with someone else anyway)

Mobius Enigma said,
I don't use a passcode on my phone, as it always in my possession. With the WP ability to locate or lock the phone from the web at any moment, I can secure my phone even if I did leave it somewhere.

It's pretty hypocritical for you to be slagging off fingerprint recognition when you don't even use a pin-code / swipe-pattern to secure your phone. You're just like the people who refuse to use anti-virus software because of the alleged performance hit and come up with excuses about how their computing habits protect them from any possible infection.

The people criticising fingerprint recognition seem to be doing so just to be contrary. It's really bizarre.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It's pretty hypocritical for you to be slagging off fingerprint recognition when you don't even use a pin-code / swipe-pattern to secure your phone. You're just like the people who refuse to use anti-virus software because of the alleged performance hit and come up with excuses about how their computing habits protect them from any possible infection.

The people criticising fingerprint recognition seem to be doing so just to be contrary. It's really bizarre.

Well I dont use Anti-virus because I never catch any viruses. I have a Linux Live Cd I boot and scan my system now and then. The only one time I ever had a virus was in XP and I had an up-to-date anti-virus app on my laptop.

The only people that need security software, are idiots who do insecure things with their phone or computer. When I get email and I see the subject line is BS, I delete it. I dont open it and click links. I dont look at porn on my computer. I dont download stuff from Piratebay or Warez websites. I use my PC online ot visit, legit sites for getting what I need or sources I know that aren't laced with infections. Same with my phone. My phone is always with me. If I happen to leave it an someone finds it, I have nothing on it I can replace, and I have nothing on it that reveal money. If I have to log into a website for info, when I am done I take the extra step to log off, this includes Facebook. Even if FB was left logged in, what info is there they cant already see anyways like my name? Contacts? Not worried they are all backup. There are no agents or military personnel. No address. Just email and a phone number and a name. I have a tablet I keep all my very important business related stuff on and it is locked in a safe that no one can get in but me. I take it out at work and put it back when I am done. I have remote server access to what I need which is a virtual image of my laptop running on a server so I have access to what I need from any PC in the world. But no one else can get to it but me.

All this gimmicky security garbage is just that...GARBAGE. If you have something that important on your device to protect, then you simply use a strong password. Fingerprint readers are a very old technology that is useless by anyone accept military or government employees.

Astra.Xtreme said,

And how exactly is that going to mimic an actual finger? Light and capacitance will likely be taken into consideration during the scan.

None of that even matters. What does matter is this. It is likely the sensor won't be on my default. My assumption is, Apple will likely offer the option of using the sensor during the initial phone setup. The vast majority of people are use to turning the phone on using the home button or the power button. In most cases as I have seen when people setup the phone, they typically opt-out of anything they don't have to opt-in for or is not required.

Facts about fingerprint readers, they have low tolerances to heat and cold. Think about the things people are always doing when using their phone. Many are out eating, which means they will hold a hot or cold drink. Immediately removing your hand from a cold drink to the phone will prevent the phone from working. Heat will be likely less of a problem, but still can be one. People are always eating. Greasy, slimy hands aren't going to work either. The sensor isnt going to work in cold weather and it may not work in very hot weather and it certainly won't work if your hands are wet.

The reality is, it could be more of an issue to use vs doing without. No security measure will work if people never use them. A fingerprint reader isnt more secure vs a strong password. Fingerprint are much easier to get. The same finger used for the sensor is the same one that is going to leave prints all over the screen. All you need is a couple of simple tools to extract a full print which is not hard at all.

As the guy was trying to tell you...once the phone is stolen, you have what is the ideal situation for a thief...its call TIME...which is what I tried to tell you. All you have to do is blow some moist air across the screen to reveal the prints. If you find one or 2 that aren't smudged, likely one of them could be the one used on the sensor.

Also, most people use their phone for social networking, nothing there is worth seeing or stealing. Addresses of a person could be worth it, if the person is more than a thief. People who steal phones in general arent looking for info, they are looking for a hot item for a quick sale for some cash.

As I said, if Apple ties the sensor to the device in such a way it prevents the phone from being placed into DFU model and having the firmware reinstalled, then this would be a huge plus. If not, then basically its no different than any other passcode or password. You could simply put the device in DFU mode and us iTunes to erase the software and reinstall it.

I saw many things you said. I dont totally disagree with them. But we are talking about average consumers who the vast majority are to lazy to even set up a 4 digit pass code. You think they are going to set up a fingerprint reader?

TechieXP said,
Well I dont use Anti-virus because I never catch any viruses. I have a Linux Live Cd I boot and scan my system now and then. The only one time I ever had a virus was in XP and I had an up-to-date anti-virus app on my laptop.

Yup, thought as much. You have ZERO credibility when it comes to telling others about security.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Well I think the rumor is that it will scan your finger quickly when you press the home button. So basically it won't require any extra work from the user. How well it will work is a different story. If it works well, then great, but I'll still most likely disable it.

It requires the same set up process as my 10 year old ThinkPad. On the ThinkPad I have to swipe my finger about 10 times. As you do each swipe, the sensor fills in certain parts of your fingerprint until it gets a full image. On the iPhone 5S you have to press as many as 10 times for the same, to get a full image.

Providing when you press you press and have your finger in a similar location it will unlock, if you don't it simply wont. I watch a video where the guy was setting up the sensor and it failed to read his finger after setup 3 times before he successfully unlocked it.

Everyones claim Apple will have it more right was simply fanboi dreams. It works no different than it did on the Atrix. Motorola didn't hype the sensor on the Atrix. They hyped the laptop dock as they thought that would be more appealing to businessmen.

Apple is hyping the sensor for the same reason they hyped Siri, because this is basically the only thing that sets it apart from the previous model.