What Will Put the “S” in the iPhone 5S?

The Japanese blog MacOtakara reported that Foxconn has allegedly started production of the highly-anticipated iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5 successor. Although there won’t by any notable design changes, and there is little to no tooling needed to manufacture the two models on the same production lines, it wouldn’t be Apple without some wow factors included in the next-generation handset.

There has been much hype around security: two major security flaws have been discovered in iOS 6, allowing anyone to bypass the passcode lock.

But this time – if the analysts are correct – one of the wow factors could be an additional layer of security thanks to the acquisition of Authentec. Recall that Authentec is a mobile and network security company that makes fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers.

The tech world expected the technology to be part of the iPhone 5. But this year, after more than 8 months after the acquisition, the technology Authentec provides seems to be ready for the iPhone.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, has released a report reiterating his earlier product map predictions. He believes the iPhone 5S will arrive June or July, so the handset production rumor is in line with his forecast. More importantly, he says it will feature a fingerprint sensor and a smart flash.

With a fingerprint sensor onboard, the iPhone 5S and iOS 7 could add another layer of security to Apple’s handset, preparing the transition to the long-rumored iWallet. Passbook is just the first step – only the entourage of future mobile payments á la Apple.

If the S of the iPhone 4S stood for Siri, this time the S could stand for Security.