More Durable Touch ID Sensors for iPhone 6, iPad Air, and iPad Mini Coming From TSMC

iphone_5s_touch_idA report from China Times (via GforGames) claims Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is expanding its 8-inch chip plant in order to produce Touch ID sensors for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. TSMC is planning to produce 120 million Touch ID units in 2014, a 233 percent year over year increase as the sensor expands beyond the flagship iPhone to other iOS devices.

In line with a previous report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, today's report claims Apple and TSMC are using tin to increase the durability of the sensor compared to the current version found in the iPhone 5s.

Supply chain sources say TSMC is scaling its mass production of new Touch ID units to begin delivery to Apple by early July, with third quarter production more than doubling over the previous quarter. A previous report had indicated that the first shipments of new Touch ID sensors began by early May, but these may still have been early batches for testing.

Similar to the iPhone's Touch ID, the iPad version will support the expanded functionality made possible by iOS 8's new SDK that allows third-party apps to access the fingerprint scanner for verification purposes. Touch ID also is rumored to be part of a mobile payment system under development by Apple.

Recent leaks hint at how the next-generation iPad Air and iPad Mini may appear with a Touch ID module and other design refinements such as a changed speaker grille and recessed volume buttons.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad

Top Rated Comments

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79 months ago
Touch ID sensors in future MacBooks? How about a Touch ID sensor in the Apple Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
79 months ago

Samsung have one as well, though. According to one of my colleagues whose missus has an S5, it's apparently just as good -- if not better -- than Apple's. Apparently it's quicker and more reliable.

In saying that, he's an insatiable Android fanboy so I always take what he says with a heavy dose of sodium chloride. Are there any objective opinions from MR members about the S5 vs 5S fingerprint scanner quality? :confused:

The iPhone 5S' sensor is indisputably better.

Samsung's is using outdated swipe tech, which is exactly what Apple did not want to use for usability reasons and why it bought Authentec for $356M. It would have been easy for Apple to implement that old and proven tech way before, back when the Moto Atrix had it. But they wanted to offer something better, unlike Samsung.

Now why are swipe sensors bad? First, well, they require a swipe motion, which is totally unpractical if you're holding your phone one-handed, and makes the process a little longer. Second, they require your finger to be at a specific angle to recognize it, unlike Touch ID which works at any angle.

That makes Touch ID way more convenient because you can unlock your phone single-handed much like you would if you had no fingerprint reader at all, and you don't have to worry about your thumb being perpendicular to the sensor on two axes. You just place your thumb and it works. Samsung's implementation is not bad per se, it would have been considered good if Touch ID didn't exist. But when you compare the two, it's obvious that one's tech belongs to another decade.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
79 months ago
I am missing the "more durable" part in this article! What is wrong with todays sensor?

"More durable" - now you can register your toe prints.

Maybe you can now fist bump your phone?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
79 months ago

Samsung have one as well, though. According to one of my colleagues whose missus has an S5, it's apparently just as good -- if not better -- than Apple's. Apparently it's quicker and more reliable.

In saying that, he's an insatiable Android fanboy so I always take what he says with a heavy dose of sodium chloride. Are there any objective opinions from MR members about the S5 vs 5S fingerprint scanner quality? :confused:

Yes I have used both, and I can tell you the sensor on the 5S is far superior for one reason: you can unlock with one hand. While the 5S can recognize you finger print from any direction. the S5 has to be swiped in a certain direction to work. Since the S5 is so big, it is virtually impossible to unlock with only one hand. While both are fairly accurate, being able to unlock your phone with just one hand is really handy when only one hand is free/dry/clean.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
79 months ago

Adding user accounts immediately means you have the need for a lot more secondary storage (by the way the iPads already need this extra storage). Apple could and should address the storage issues on these devices but even if they do it is stall a cramped platform to share storae space on.

I doubt that you would need „a lot more secondary storage [immediately]“. As always it depends on the usage scenario, but the typical target group for iPad sharing would be relationships and families. There the additional storage would consist of the individual mails per user, a few additional apps and some bookmark and profile information. I do agree that 16GB could be a tight call and even 32GB might be insufficient, if e.g. all users would want to store huge photo libs on the device. But for the „eMail, Browsing and the occasional casual game“ type of scenario I see no bigger problems.

After all it’s not long ago that Apple sold a full fledged Macbook Air with „only“ 64GB of storage - and that machine is explicitly multi-user capable. The iPad is all about convenience, so for the average user multi-user capabilities using TouchID would be an ideal value-add. Users with higher requirements would opt for something more powerful anyway (or at least know to go for bigger storage).

How will they go about handling app data/files storage? Right now the operating system has the apps storing data within their applicaiton subdirectory. Trying to split this p into seperate and secure directories for each users is a problem.

I see no reason why Apple could not make the necessary adjustments to iOS as they did to MacOS when they introduced multi-user a long time ago. iOS is derived from MacOSX and should be sufficiently matured 7 years after first release. It’s 2014 now and Programmers (should) know what’s necessary to achieve a proper multi-user concept.

Backups are done cleanly in a way that supports all apps. Much of what makes ipad a great single user machine would end up boriken with support for users.

How do you figure? Did MacOS get broken after a multi-user concept was introduced?

IPad and iPhone were never meant to be a multi user device. The way it works is built around the idea of a single users.

So were home computers in the 80’s and into the 90’s, but they evolved and managed to do what was necessary. I see no reason that an iPad and iOS could not do this. As a side note: In my opinion the major reason for making iOS _not_ multi-user were the technological limits that applied some ten years ago when the idea was developed. Today you can cram hardware in that flat slates which outclasses desktop hardware from only a few years ago!

Why give that up just because a few people want to cram a multiuser OS onto the platform. Before answering this, consider how much instantly ends up borken with multi user support.

Done properly nearly nothing has to be broken by multi-user support (except for a short time of transition with a few teething problems). And I believe you massively underestimate how many people would gladly have multi-user support on their iPads. An iPad is all about convenience and it’s quite an expensive piece of hardware. From an economic point of view it makes no sense to purchase two pieces of hardware, when there is no concurrent need and the existing one is far from being loaded to its max capacity.

Would you normally lend somebody your phone to use without your oversight? This comes back to the personal aspect of an iPhone or iPad. Sharing may be a quality parents want to instill into their children but most parents understand that there are limits. iPad is simply a different device requiring a different set of rules for sharing.

Simply NO! An iPad is a modern computer with a halfway modern OS. There is no reason to differentiate between - say - a MacBook Air and an iPad here. Apart from that your comparison is flawed in the first place: It’s not about lending your iDevice to someone else without oversight - that is exactly the point! People want to lend it and have the device taking care of overseeing access rights!

Why try to wedge concepts from the PC world into a device that is obviously not a PC. Lets face it you can buy a Mac Book Air for nearly the same price as a tricked out iPad and get a far better deal when it comes to supporting multiple users.

The more I read your argumentation the more it seems strange to me. Of course an iPad is obviously as good a computer as a low-end Mac mini or MacBook Air. There is absolutely no reason not to introduce multi-user offerings. Even more so, as the (cheaper!) competition seems to already have it.

It would seem to me that they bought the wrong device then or did not buy enough of them.

A little snobbish, now - aren’t we? Just for the record: I do own an iPad Air w/ 128GB of storage and would like to have multi-user with TouchID - would make me update to an iPad Air 2 instantly. I could easily afford to purchase another iPad as workaround, but don’t see any compelling reason to do so just because Apple is too lazy to implement a proper multi-user concept. I’m sure many people share this opinion.

The big problem with iPad in my experience though is that you would loose excessive amounts of space if you where to support multiple users. In the end I really don't see a way for Apple to do anything other than to support multiple storage locations (for multiple users) for things like iTunes, E-mail and the like. This would kill available storage.

I still fail to follow that argumentation chain. Perhaps _you_ store massive amounts of data on _your_ iPad and thus can’t imagine ever sharing it. The _majority_ of people, however, are far from coming close to the boundaries of available storage.

If the iPad "must" be shared then obviously the wrong device was purchased.

Obvious is only that you seem to consider your use case as universally valid - which it is not. The „must“ is probably fueled by economic considerations: It makes no sense economically to have an expensive machinery sitting around unused for long periods of time, with a sufficiently capable hardware, and not try to improve load (usage) times.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
79 months ago

Safari on iPad is crashing (beta) so you are getting the short version! The only problem on MacBooks is Apples reliance upon the hardware embedded iN A7. As such they either need to get Intel to do custome hardware or they will need to deliver ARM based laptops to support Touch ID.


This is where I see Macrumors really needing to bring back down voting because user accounts are the very last thing iPad needs. The desire for user accounts blows the whole concept of what an iPad or iPhone is out of the water.

Hi Wizard, interested to understand where you are coming from with your thoughts on user accounts. I am the sole user of my ipad and iphone so have never had problems but I know friends who have a lot of problems trying to share a device as a family.

Having accounts and the choice to have tags to make things global (say some photos, music or apps) seems a great step forward. Each account would have their own email etc as you would expect. Touch ID would make it a seamless transfer between accounts.

I see less of a use on a phone but plenty of iPads must be shared in a home?

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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