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Fingerprint technology could be the iPhone 5’s attention-grabbing, Siri-style USP, reports suggest, as the clocks ticks down to Wednesday’s official handset unveiling.

According to The Guardian, Apple has enlisted fingerprint security provider Authentec, which is apparently in talks with Apple regarding a takeover, to create 2D fingerprint censors.

It is thought that the tech could feature as a reassuring, extra layer of security for Apple’s plan to turn the iPhone into a digital wallet through the incorporation of the Passbook app. Passbook, set to land along with the next major iteration of the iPhone’s software, iOS 6, allows the iPhone to act as a repository for virtual airline boarding passes, discount coupons and loyalty cards.

Fingerprint technology could also have a role to play if and when Near Field Communications technology (NFC) hits the iPhone. NFC chips, which have been on board Android phones for some time, allow the owner to swipe a smartphone over a reader to pay for low-ticket goods and services.

Billed as the biggest iPhone upgrade so far, the sixth-generation Apple handset is expected to feature twice the graphics-shifting grunt via a quad-core processor, 4G support and a larger, four-inch screen – up from the 3.5-inch display that has featured in every iPhone since 2007.


The Guardian

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