August 1, 2013
And Suddenly We Know So Much About Future iPhones
We’re finally beginning to learn a little more about Apple’s unreleased smartphones as we head closer to the inevitable release of a brand new device.
Or is it devices?
So far this week, we’ve already seen two semiofficial acknowledgements of multiple upcoming devices, including the cheap iPhone in color and a fingerprint scanner in iOS 7, which, it is assumed, won’t make it in a model Apple may be selling for only $99.
On Monday a workers-rights organization called China Labor Watch issued a report which claimed Apple supplier Pegatron has been doing horrible things to their workers, things like withholding identification cards, force them to work extremely long overtime shifts and do so in an unsafe environment.
However, in this report, China Labor Watch let it slip that the workers at the Pegatron factory are busy building Apple’s next cheap iPhone, said to be available in multiple colors. Pictures of the packaging these phones may arrive in were posted to Internet forums last weekend, which suggested the phone could be called the “iPhone 5C.”
One day later Apple shipped the latest beta release of the new iOS 7 and, wouldn’t you know it, developers (people known for having an in-depth understanding of computer code) happened to notice a few references to a biometric sensor or fingerprint scanner.
(It’s not as if Apple could have kept this completely hidden, of course…it’s just a cost of doing business.)
This may have confirmed yet another rumor about the next iPhone’s abilities.
Since the company picked up AuthenTec last year, analysts and Apple watchers alike have been expecting the company to incorporate some biometric security into future devices. Why buy a company that makes fingerprint scanners without putting them in iPhones, after all?
Though pretty science fiction-y, a fingerprint scanner becomes particularly interesting when paired with iCloud Keychain, a new feature which keeps user passwords securely stored in the cloud and available on multiple devices.
Though the goal of iCloud Keychain is to both generate and store passwords so users don’t have to remember all those ridiculous strings of nonsense, it makes sense the service could be expanded.
You’ll notice Apple didn’t say much about iCloud Keychain when they announced it during this year’s WWDC keynote. This could mean nothing, of course….but it could also mean they were waiting for the REALLY BIG reveal of “and now, with iPhone 5S’ fingerprint scanner, iCloud Keychain turns your thumb into your password on every website.”
Including this feature in the cheap iPhone 5C (if that’s what they call it) would be pretty spectacular, but come on…there has to be something to differentiate the expensive and the cheap model, no?
I’m also expecting Apple to name the next iPhone something other than iPhone 5S, but that’s just wishful thinking.
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com