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iPhone 5S developers denied fingerprint scanner access

Apple’s iPhone fingerprint reader won’t be rolled out to developers in the near future with the consumer market the main focus of the new gadget.

Apple senior VP Phil Schiller confirmed to AllThingsD that the new innovation, which was unveiled at the iPhone 5S launch event in California, won’t be offered to developers as a “means of authentication”. Schiller wouldn’t be draw as to when or if it will be available in the future.

The same publication asked how the fingerprint reader would evolve in future, with CEO Tim Cook saying that “you can probably imagine a lot of [other] uses”. Apple also confirmed it’s not storing any fingerprints on its servers.

Apple’s iPhone 5S is currently the only device that comes with the fingerprint sensor and it’s designed to protect sensitive customer data stored on the device. The sensor, which allows the user to unlock the phone and authenticate iTunes purchases, uses the technology that Apple secured following its $356 million [£225 million] acquisition of mobile security firm AuthenTec.

Some doubt fingerprint scanning technology is reliable enough to use as an authentication method. Andy Kemshall, co-founder of SecurEnvoy, told ITProPortal's Will Dalton that we’re “at least a decade away” from fingerprint scanning, and other methods, being reliable.

The iPhone 5S, which ships on 20 September alongside the affordable iPhone 5C, will cost £549 contract free for the 16GB version. It comes in three colours – gold, silver, and “Space Grey” – with a small glut of new features including an A7 chipset [built on 64-bit architecture], an upgraded 8-megapixel camera with an improved f/2.2 aperture. The screen is the same 4in retina-display that was present on the iPhone 4S with the size also staying the same.

Apple makes the bold claim the device has the best iPhone battery to date with 10 hours talk time on 3G networks, 10 hours web browsing on Wi-Fi and LTE, eight hours Internet browsing on 3G, 10 hours video playback and 40 hours of audio playback.