Smartphone breakdown experts have expressed concerns about the durability of components used in the Apple iPhone 5S' Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
"The sensor technology, developed by AuthenTec and bought by Apple a year ago, reportedly stores your fingerprints locally, so giving your iPhone the finger will not make it all the way back to Cupertino," read the post.
"We worry about how well the sapphire crystal covering the sensor can protect it from degrading over time, like most CMOS fingerprint sensors. If not, it could become a ticking time bomb."
The news could prove troubling to businesses thinking about rolling out iPhone 5S smartphones to their staff. The Touch ID scanner is a key feature in the new 5S and is designed to make the iPhone more appropriate for business use, offering a further layer of protection against potential data breaches if devices are lost or stolen.
The fingerprint scanner works by scanning the sub-epidermal skin layers of the person holding the iPhone to verify their identity before unlocking.
The iFixit engineers also noted a number of issues that could make repairing the iPhone 5S more expensive. The experts listed both iPhones' glued-in batteries as particular concern.
"The missing battery pull-tab, though seemingly innocuous, indicates a bigger problem for battery repair: glue. Perhaps the ‘S' in 5S stands for ‘stuck,' as in ‘this battery is stuck in with a lot of glue,' or ‘I hope you didn't want to replace your battery – you're going to be stuck with this one'," read the post.
The iFixit engineers reported finding similar repair issues with the plastic iPhone 5C, listing the smartphone's glued-in battery, fiddly-to-remove screen, and difficult to disassemble antenna as key areas that will drive up repair costs.
The iPhone 5S and 5C are both available in the UK from today. The 5C is available in 16GB and 32GB models. The 5C's 16GB model costs £469 and the 32GB model is £549 SIM-free. The iPhone 5S is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, costing £549, £629 and £709 SIM-free respectively.
Check back with V3 later for full reviews of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
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