According to a report from China Times today, a Taiwanese chip contractor by the name of Chipbond has apparently been selected to produce a number of components for the forthcoming iPhone 5S, including chips for a fingerprint scanner and NFC (near field communication) functionality. The article also purposes that the alleged fingerprint scanner will also serve as a safeguard to enhance the security of NFC features, such as mobile credit card payments.
Although seemingly far-fetched, rumors of fingerprint sensing and scanning technology for the iPhone have grown increasingly common since Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec (a mobile security firm specializing in biometrics) last year. Moreover, it’s rumored that AuthenTec will discontinue support for their fingerprint scanning products this year, presumably to focus on Apple and their mobile products.
As for the recurring rumors of NFC for the iPhone, Apple has already laid the groundwork with their Passbook app, offering digital passes, coupons and more, which could easily expand to include support for mobile payments through NFC.
Foxconn is already rumored to be preparing for iPhone 5S production prior to a late-summer, early-fall launch. Stay tuned for complete coverage on Apple, the iPhone 5S and next-generation iDevice technologies.