Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Gem: Supply chain sources in Taiwan say that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will replace its traditional home button with a capacitive touch sapphire crystal in the upcoming iPhone 5S, CultofMac notes. The sapphire crystal will feature a fingerprint sensor. Recent reports say that Apple will use fingerprint technology in upcoming mobile devices to enhance security, possibly paving the way for a mobile payment system. Replacing the traditional home button on the iPhone with a capacitive crystal would mark a significant design departure for the iPhone. However, users have long noted the home button as one of the most easily damaged parts of the iPhone. Apple already uses a sapphire crystal camera lens on the iPhone 5. Sapphire crystal is second only to diamond in its ability to resist scratching. The iPhone 5S is expected to launch in August or September.
Cross-Platform: BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) will launch an app for its BBM messaging service on iOS this summer, AppleInsider notes. Once the leading maker of smartphones, BlackBerry — formerly known as Research in Motion — is struggling to compete with Apple’s iPhone and phones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS. The BlackBerry app will permit photo and voice note sharing as well as multi-party chatting. The BBM app will also be made available for Android devices. BBM has 60 million active users.
Robbery: New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has written to Apple, Google and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to ask the companies to do more to mitigate smartphone thefts, Bloomberg notes. In his letter, the AG wondered why the companies could not develop technologies that would “render stolen devices inoperable.” Doing so would kill the underground market in stolen mobile devices, which drives rising smartphone thefts. Schneiderman joins a number of public officials who have expressed frustration with a growing wave of smartphone thefts and point a finger at smartphone-makers for not implementing enhanced anti-theft technology. Thefts of Apple products have become so common, that police had dubbed the practice “apple picking.” In New York City, thefts involving Apple devices caused the city’s crime rate to rise last year for the first time in more than a decade.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.