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New iPhone to feature fingerprint scanner: report

Apple's iPhone 5S may sport a fingerprint scanner built directly into the front of the smartphone.

Apple's four-digit pin codes might be a thing of the past, if new rumours regarding the next iPhone are true.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the high-end iPhone 5S, which is presumably being launched overnight in the US, will have a fingerprint-scanning function.

Last year, Apple bought Authentic, a fingerprint sensor and identity management software company, which kicked off the rumours of the new biometric locking system, following it up with a patent application for a technology that could identify a person's fingerprint earlier this year.

It's not clear how the fingerprint reader might be mounted, but photos have leaked online suggesting that it could be built into the home button.

The WSJ report says that the functionality would be "on the more expensive of two iPhones", indicating that the purported low-cost iPhone 5C will require more traditional forms of locking and unlocking.

There are mere hours to go until we can forget all about the iPhone rumours and start worrying about the iPhone facts. Night owls and Apple fans can follow our coverage of the event from 2am AEST on 11 September.

Apple's finger-sensing patent application filed earlier this year. (Credit: Apple/USPTO)