Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bling -- sapphire goes the iPhone 5S' home and fingerprint recognition button

A report issued Sunday on Macotakara (via 9to5Mac) reinforces the belief that Apple's upcoming iPhone models will be named the iPhone 5S and 5C.

The report also says that a rumored champagne gold color option.

The 5S name has been assumed for months, with the accompanying belief that the next version of the iPhone would be Apple's "off-year" branded "S" model. Looking back through iPhone history, the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S were minimally changed externally from the prior year, with the internals being modified in various ways.

Of course, there is still the chance Apple might go with the "new iPhone" if they want to raise hackles as much as they did with the "new iPad" (or third generation iPad).

Meanwhile, the latest rumors about the lower-cost iPhone is that it will be called the iPhone 5C, where C stands for color, as unlike the iPhone, which has always come in either black or white, it will be multicolored (think Lumia).

As far as the iPhone 5S coming in champagne gold, it's hard to imagine Apple going that far down the bling round. Still, the iPhone 5S will indeed get more bling: The device is already known to use a sapphire lens cover for its rear-facing camera. The new iPhone 5S will get a scratch-proof sapphire crystal for the iPhone 5S’ home button.

Why would Apple need to do that? Have you ever looked at the home button on an older iPhone? How well do you think a fingerprint sensor will work if it's all scratched up? Honestly, we don't know the answer, but a convex sapphire crystal home button that is unscratchable will likely work better.

Gorilla Glass or no Gorilla Glass, smartphone manufacturers have been considering using sapphire instead of any type of glass, strengthened or no, for smartphone and tablet displays. It would, of course, add cost if the entire smartphone screen was replaced, but for a small area like the home button, it wouldn't add much "too much" cost to the device.

No comments: