A report from DigiTimes hints at the possibility of Apple’s upcoming full-sized and mini iPads featuring a fingerprint sensor embedded into their home buttons, similar to the iPhone 5s.
The report doesn’t specifically state that a fingerprint scanner will be included; instead, it simply cites Taiwan-based component makers in claiming that the new iPads will have new sapphire crystal home buttons. Considering the iPhone 5s has a sapphire crystal home button as well, it won’t be the least bit surprising if the new iPads do have a fingerprint scanner to help keep things more secure.
The report doesn’t just stop at sapphire home buttons, but also goes on to claim that Apple has been considering a switch to sapphire crystals for the glass on its iPhones’ displays, but has refrained from doing so because of higher costs. The home button on the iPhone 5s reportedly costs more than five times the plastic that was used on earlier iPhones (and on the iPhone 5s as well), so having sapphire crystal on the entire front side of the device probably won’t bode well for the affordability of Apple’s flagship handset.
The iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 are expected to be unveiled at an October 15 event, along with version 7.1 of iOS. Both are likely to sport similar designs, with the iPad mini adopting a high-resolution “Retina” screen and the iPad 5 carrying specs similar to the iPhone 5s (including the 64-bit A7 processor).