As the alleged Sept. 10 launch of Apple's the iPhone 5S draws nearer, reports suggest that the smartphone will feature a convex sapphire-covered home button.
What's more, this home button will double up as a fingerprint reader - a feature that the impending next-gen Apple smartphone is rumored to bring users' way.
The latest information comes courtesy of reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has a good track record on upcoming Apple product predictions. Kuo is of the opinion that the iPhone 5S will tout a fingerprint reader home button. The button will now discard plastic in favor of sapphire and the concave design would give way to a convex shape.
The iPhone 5 currently sports a sapphire lens cover, but its successor will allegedly boast a sapphire home button as well.
"We think that a fingerprint sensor will be placed under the home button of iPhone 5S. However, assembling it could be difficult as the space under home button is limited as it already has to accommodate the Lightning connector, speaker and microphone. Thus, we think the shape of the home button could be changed from concave to convex to create more space for a fingerprint sensor," reveals Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac).
The reason why Apple will bring forth this redesign is due to the fingerprint scanning technology that the iPhone 5S will supposedly pack in. Moreover, a convex home button creates more space but is more susceptible to scratching. This is the reason why Apple has apparently opted for sapphire instead of plastic since it's more durable and will be able to protect the convex home button.
The placement of the fingerprint sensor on the home button is also a practical consideration as it will not confuse users.
"Unlike Android phones and Windows Phone, iPhone has only one home button on its cover glass. This design is intuitive for the behavior of using fingerprint sensor as users won't be confused as to where to put on their finger," Kuo further notes.
According to the analyst, other iOS devices will also adopt the iPhone 5S's sapphire home button with fingerprint sensors in 2014 and "will generate fresh momentum for sapphire and fingerprint sensor suppliers."
However, with Apple continuing to stay mum on the launch of the upcoming smartphone, we'll have to take the news with a pinch of salt.