The iPhone 5S is likely to include a fingerprint sensor beneath the smartphone’s home button. This could result in an easier form of user authentication which competitors may find difficult to duplicate, according to AppleInsider.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities expects Apple’s 2012 acquisition of AuthenTec to “pay off” this year with the release of the next iPhone. He believes that Cupertino will use their new technology to implement a fingerprint scanner that could someday replace usernames and passwords as authentication tools in apps such as Passbook.

Since the sensor will reside under the iOS device’s home button, it will allow Apple to keep its “minimalist design.”

Currently, Android and Windows Phone devices have more than one button below the screen. Those buttons “frequently lack the mechanical push of Apple’s home button.” Naturally, this could be used by Apple as a selling point.

One thing that probably won’t change with the iPhone 5S is its overall design. On the surface, the seventh generation handset should look a lot like the iPhone 5.

Kuo also believes that a more affordable iPhone will launch later this year targeted at emerging markets. This is something that other analysts have also suggested in recent weeks.

The latest iPhone 5s rumors suggest that Apple’s next handset will launch in June or earlier with production beginning in March. As usual, we’ll keep you updated.

Source: AppleInsider