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Apple iPhone fingerprint scanner reportedly confirmed

The upcoming iPhone 5S may come with a different type of security than the regular four-digit passcode.

Apple's finger-sensing patent application filed earlier this year. Apple/USPTO

Apple will include a fingerprint scanner on a high-end iPhone the company is expected to announce on Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

If true, gone will be the days of using four-digit passcodes on iPhones. The new technology will supposedly work by a simple touch on the front of the smartphone. The idea is to fool thieves and hackers.

Evidence has been mounting about Apple jumping into fingerprint technology. After the iPhone maker bought fingerprint sensor and identity management software company Authentec last year, rumors floated that it was aiming to use the technology in its new devices.

In July, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application that described a technology in which a sensor is used to trace a person's finger and fingerprint and determine, based on that, if they have proper credentials. Then, last week, leaked photos surfaced that suggested Apple's next iPhone will come with fingerprint scanning technology on its home button.

If Apple does indeed include a fingerprint scanner on its rumored iPhone 5S, it's likely other smartphone makers will follow suit, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, a couple of companies that make smartphones for Google Android have also been working on adding fingerprint sensors -- although it's unclear which devices these will be.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S and a cheaper iPhone 5C model at a press event on Tuesday. Tune into CNET's live blog at 10am PT to get a real-time breakdown of the event.

CNET contacted Apple for comment on the fingerprint scanner. We'll update the story when we get more information.