Three devices in Apple's 2014 release lineup will have fingerprint sensors embedded in the home button, according to information released from a Chinese-language component website.
Last week, Cecb2b.com reported that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) had completed the first batch of Touch ID sensors to be built into the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3. The same report went further by stating that the fingerprint sensors were being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor.
The report seems to support a January report that claims TSMC was starting production of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the second quarter of 2014. If the latest rumor is to be believed, that would mean TSMC is nearing the end of its first production - the implication being that the new iPhone and iPad will possibly have a launch date of fall this year. Last year, the iPhone 5 was released in the fall as well.
These signs are encouraging because they suggest that the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 will be in more abundant supply during launch. Previously, the iphone 5 was plagued by limited supply during its release last September. The iPhone 5 woes were later attributed to a shortage of Touch ID fingerprint components.
Last year, Apple reportedly signed a three-year contract with TSMC to manufacture A8, A9 and A9X chipsets that are key components in all iPhone versions. This move is one of many attempts by Apple to distance itself from its archrival Samsung, which paradoxically continues to manufacture iPhone components. Besides making fingerprint sensors, TSMC is also producing the A8 chipsets that power the upcoming iPhone 6.