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Old May 14, 2013, 09:35 AM   #1
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Sketchy Rumor Claims Sapphire-Covered Capacitive Home Button for iPhone 5S




Cult of Mac points to a report [Google translation] from Taiwanese site TechNews claiming that Apple will be including a sapphire-covered capacitive home button on the iPhone 5S in order to accommodate the fingerprint sensor rumored to be coming as a differentiating feature for the device.
Quote:
Apple is expected to do away with the traditional physical home button, which has long been one of the most unreliable components on iOS devices. It's thought that using sapphire crystal, which has a hardness second only to diamond, will prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor. [...]

They insist Apple will employ a capacitive touch home button for the first time with the iPhone 5S, eliminating one of the most unreliable components in an iOS device (the physical home button has a tendency to fail after long periods of use).
TechNews has not, however, been a regular source of Apple rumors, and thus it is difficult to place much faith in this rumor. Rumors of a capacitive home button to replace the physical button that has been a staple of iOS devices since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007 have circulated for several years, but have never gained serious traction.

Reports of a fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5S have been gaining steam following Apple's acquisition of mobile security firm AuthenTec last year, with high-profile Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo repeatedly predicting that the device will include such a feature "under" the home button, although details on exactly how it will be incorporated into the device remain unknown.

Sapphire crystal as a scratch-resistant covering has also been a popular topic of conversation since Apple began using the material for the rear camera on the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch last year. Earlier this year, we noted that the material may someday replace glass as the protective layer for mobile device displays, although it will take some time before costs become reasonable for such an expansive use of sapphire.

Article Link: Sketchy Rumor Claims Sapphire-Covered Capacitive Home Button for iPhone 5S
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:39 AM   #3
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I've not had a home button fail, but clearly lots of people have.

Plus, yes, integrating a fingerprint sensor probably does require a design material change. As far as we know.

...so this could be entirely true. Yup... liking this.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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Will the fingerprint sensor be able to capture a full print of my morbidly obese thumb?
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:44 AM   #5
DanTheAppleMan
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When I hold my iPhone in one hand my thumb rests on the home button.
Hopefully their USP won't be "I don't have to change myself to fit the product, it fits me..."
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Master View Post
Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
It's not necessarily the users fault. With the iPhone 4 design, dust got behind the button easily which decreased it's functionality. I know for me, I had to click 3-4 times to get the fast app switching drawer to pop up( when it should take 2) on my old 4. Or I had to click twice to go to the home screen.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Master View Post
Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
I don't have gorilla hands by any stretch, and my old iPhone 4's home button has started to become less reliable. I did make heavy use of the multitasking feature, so I did a lot of double clicking. For a near 3 year old device, I'm more than happy to put it down to wear and tear, and my mum doesn't let it get in her way of using it
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lotzosushi View Post
Will the fingerprint sensor be able to capture a full print of my morbidly obese thumb?
In that case: Please just take a picture of your thumb.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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Really don't buy this one at all. Sapphire? Aren't iOS devices expensive enough as it is?
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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I've never like capacitive buttons on any device I've used - going back to the original Playstation 2 all the way to today's latest Android phones.

I think they just can't be done right. Not one of them has the very-well-tuned tactile satisfaction of the Home button. It's one of the nicest feeling buttons I've used.

And yes, when you're designing physical objects, tactile response is an important part of the emotional component of design. Just have a look at Knob-Feel! http://knobfeel.tumblr.com
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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By sketchy you mean hand-drawn?
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:53 AM   #12
jreed91
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If anyone can do a capacitive button right it would be apple. But still skeptical of this. It seems like this would be the next logical step in an all sapphire front though, that was rumored before.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:53 AM   #13
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This would actually make lots of sense. We are expecting a fingerprint scanner and the home button will either be going away or going in this kind of direction, thanks to gestures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieegan3 View Post
Really don't buy this one at all. Sapphire? Aren't iOS devices expensive enough as it is?
The iPhone 5 uses sapphire crystal as it's camera lens to prevent scratching.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:54 AM   #14
hisoka
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iPhone finger print sensor will at Home Button.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
eliminating one of the most unreliable components in an iOS device
Really? I've never had one fail since 2007. My iPhone 3G is still going strong (Wi-Fi doesn't work though).
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:58 AM   #16
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I seriously hope this rumor is true. Can you imagine how jealous Android fans would get?
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:59 AM   #17
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If it does become something that's proven to work on iphone, expect to see it on all Mac computers. Pretty soon Apple will be able to remove buttons completely.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:59 AM   #18
SilverL
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Sapphire would make a great scratch resistant surface under which to place a finger print sensor.

Just sayin.....
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Master View Post
Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
I have very small and delicate human hands yet my iPad's home button started responding only half the time.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:10 AM   #20
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Just make the home button less likely to break? I like the home button. Lets me know what part of my phone is the bottom and what part is the top. On my Nexus 7 I'm constantly flipping it around looking for the damn off button.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:16 AM   #21
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Doubt it.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:17 AM   #22
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One of the leaks before the iPhone 5 was released was the inclusion of a much stronger home button mechanism. None of my iOS devices have had the home button fail, but some failed to respond to every press towards the end of their life. My iPhone 5 button feels much better and reliable than before. The iPod touch 4th gen I use for testing apps is terrible in comparison.

There was a strong case for getting rid of the unreliable home button prior to the current generation. Less so now.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Master View Post
Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
Watch your dad typing on the keyboard in silence. If you heard the keys ticking he's from "break Home Botton" Generation.

Mine thinks the keyboard is a drum set.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by trainwrecka View Post
Really? I've never had one fail since 2007. My iPhone 3G is still going strong (Wi-Fi doesn't work though).
Yes, really. My old 4's home button completely failed after 6 months and again at 18 months. My 22 month old iPad 2's and my new 5's button is already not registering every push.

I'm glad you've had a good experience, but this a well documented issue with many people that is large enough to warrant a fix.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Master View Post
Who are these gorilla hands that ruin their home buttons anyway?
I had mine fail in my iPhone 4 - it's been dropped, run over, and beat up (and only a couple minor scratches to show for it). The only problem I have had is the home button became intermittent. All I had to do to get it to work was drop it flat, face down and it would work perfectly for a few days. I finally bothered to open it up and reseat the connector a while back and it has been absolutely perfect since then. My iPhones have been my most reliable phones to date - I've had Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, and way back, NEC. Reception is excellent and the build quality is great. On the Samsung the volume buttons acted up from time to time, and the Nokia the volume buttons acted up but I had scored a used Nokia which I gutted for parts to keep mine going.
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