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Apple's New iPhone 5S Feature Could Seriously Deter Theft

  +Follow July 30, 2013 2:56PM
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At their third fiscal quarter 2013 earnings report on July 23 Apple Inc. (AAPL) stayed mum on the details of their newest product. After the relatively disappointing sales if the iPhone 5S, the company’s stock has plummeted and despite healthy earnings the pressure mounted to unveil a new development that could reinvigorate the tech giant’s sales.

But all guesses as to whether that new development like a smartwatch, or features on an updated product that would truly make it a truly must-have, were all merely speculation. But now there’s compelling evidence what the famously secretive company is going to debut this fall, and if the evidence is correct, it signals a major development in the Apple product line.

On July 28, Apple released the beta of their new operating system, iOS 7, to developers. Included in the iOS was a folder marked “Biometric Kit” with a string of code hinting at a new feature with a line of code that said “A fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process.”

Coupled with Apple’s purchase of biometric hardware company AuthenTec in July 2012 for $340 million, the developers now think they know what the famously secretive company is up to. The new Apple feature, it would appear, is fingerprint identification on the iPhone 5S, purportedly ready to release in September or October 2013.  

If it works as it should, fingerprint ID would address a major issue with iPhones. 1.6 million Americans have their iPhones stolen per year, putting total losses in the hundreds of millions for consumers

Rumors of fingerprint scanning on an iPhone have swirled since prior to the iPhone 5 release. But that speculation was built solely on the AuthenTec acquisition. The code release verifies the company will incorporate the tech into the new iPhone, or at least is teasing out the possibility.

If true, this won’t be the first smartphone to incorporate fingerprint scanning tech – Google, Inc (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility’s Atrix first did back in 2011, though its effectiveness garnered mixed reviews.

Apple is up 1.48 percent to hit $454.38 a share. They’re up 9.43 percent on the month.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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