A new part claimed to be the rear panel for Apple’s anticipated “iPhone 5S” shows an external design largely unchanged from the iPhone 5 but a number of internal changes, including a modified home button that could potentially accommodate the rumored embedded fingerprint sensor. In the recent component leak published by Nowhereelse.fr, changes made to the area around the home button are readily apparent when compared side-by-side with the iPhone 5 back panel. In particular, the metal spacer cushion that supports the home button features a new look.
The picture also shows tweaks to the space where the camera would be located, as well as different screw placement along the back of the device. The tweaked space for the home button is of particular interest though as Apple is rumored to include a fingerprint sensor in the component of its next-generation flagship iPhone. The feature is expected to be driven by the technology that Apple acquired from AuthenTec.
In order to fit the fingerprint sensor inside the home button, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the part will now be convex instead of concave, allowing for more space. Kuo also indicated that the home button will be made out of sapphire due to being scratch resistant. There were even references to a fingerprint scanner embedded within an iPhone home button discovered in a pre-release beta of Apple’s iOS 7. A folder found within the test software made references to a “Biometric Kit,” while another string of code describes a user touching the home button with their thumb as a status image appears on the iOS device’s screen.
As far as the camera changes go, they could hint at an improved LED flash component that Apple is expected to include in its next-gen handset. Unfortunately the metal back component doesn’t include the glass panels for the top and bottom of the device. A separate leak published earlier in the week does show the part, revealing the pill-shaped space for where Apple is expected to include a dual LED flash for superior photos in low-light scenarios.
We’ll have to wait until more concrete info is released by Apple.