updated 10:10 am EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
NFC, fingerprint sensor, IGZO display tapped as possibilities
A report out of China is claiming to have access to both specifications and production photos of the iPhone 5S, typically expected to ship this September. The former allegedly include an NFC reader, a fingerprint sensor, a 4-inch 1136x640 IGZO display, and a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash. Inside the the phone is predicted to have 2GB of RAM, and a slightly improved processor -- while the main CPU is expected to remain dual-core, graphics are forecast to switch from a tri-core PowerVR SGX543MP3 architecture to the quad-core SGX554MP4.
Most of those specifications are consistent or at least plausible in the context of recent rumors. One exception is the NFC chip; although NFC has been mentioned in past 5S reports, the technology hasn't appeared in recent ones. At the same time, NFC is a common feature in modern smartphones, and would be relatively easy for Apple to slip in. The difficult part would be taking advantage of the option in software; the company could, however, enable NFC functions in apps like Passbook or AirDrop.
The authenticity of the production photos is hard to ascertain, since most accounts have said that the iPhone 5S resembles the iPhone 5. In theory at least the shells in the photos could simply be more iPhone 5 parts.