fingerprint scanner

What voice-recognition did for the iPhone 4S, fingerprints will do for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S, one technology analyst is telling investors. For the second time, an Apple observer forecasts a fingerprint sensor as a key feature of a new iPhone expected this summer. Such a sensor would let iPhone 5S owners use their fingerprints instead of passwords, as well as open the possibility of mobile credit card payments, according to a Wednesday report…

Analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets made the comments after touring parts suppliers in China and Taiwan, reports AppleInsider, which obtained the analyst’s research note.

The analyst described a fingerprint sensor devoted to “essential security purposes.”

White likened a fingerprint sensor to the introduction of Siri along with the 4S, becoming a key selling point for the iPhone 5S which White believes will appear in July.

He also linked the sensor to another highly-rumored Apple device, the iWatch. According to the analyst, the iWatch would also read users’ fingerprints

And in a comment meant to suggest the iWatch is more than speculation, White described “early signs of movement in the supply chain,” according to the tech blog.

This is not the first mention of fingerprint sensors being part of a future iPhone.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would include such a sensor under the iPhone 5S home button.

Talk of adding a fingerprint sensor to the iPhone also gained credibility after Apple paid $356 million to acquire AuthenTec.

The company produced smart sensors which let fingerprint readers be included under touchscreen displays. White also added to the long-running debate over whether Apple will introduce a television set.

According to the analyst, Apple plans an “iRing” which when worn on a user’s finger, helps any iTV detect motion.