SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 17 The fingerprint reader on
Apple Inc's top-end iPhone 5S received an early thumbs
up for ease of use from two influential reviewers, helping
dispel concerns about the scanning technology which has been
notoriously unreliable in other cellphones.
Apple's scanner is seen as a first step toward realizing the
full potential for biometrics in personal electronics,
heightening security for applications like banking and shopping
while doing away with multiple passwords.
"The best part is that it actually works - every single
time, in my tests," wrote reviewer David Pogue of the New York
"It's nothing like the balky, infuriating fingerprint-reader
efforts of earlier cellphones. It's genuinely awesome; the
haters can go jump off a pier."
The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg was also
enthusiastic, calling it simple and reliable. But he noted that
the gadget would inexplicably prompt him for a password when
swiping a finger to make purchases, which he blamed on a bug.
"I have come to like it and consider it a step forward,
despite a few issues," he said of the overall device.
Re-tooled iOS7 mobile software, a better camera, a more
useful voice-activated "Siri" personal digital assistant and a
faster processor combined to make the iPhone 5S the best
smartphone on the market, he added.
However, he argued that owners of the previous-generation
iPhone 5 may not have a compelling reason to buy the latest
device unless they specifically wanted the fingerprint reader.
Many industry analysts view the iPhone 5S and the cheaper 5C
as being modest improvements on the previous generation,
reviving fears that Apple's most innovative days may be behind
it. They said the mere fact of a fingerprint scanner was
unlikely by itself to make the gadget a sure win in a crowded
Apple has embedded the scanner into the iPhone's home
button, while other mobile devices usually have it on the back,
making it awkward for the user and increasing the number of
Archrival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and fellow
South Korean electronics manufacturer LG Electronics Inc
have had problems incorporating the technology into