Why the “S” in iPhone 5S Stands for Security

iPhone 5SApple’s next keynote is soon approaching, and its next iPhone is rumored to be named the “iPhone 5S”. Apple has previously launched two iPhone models with the “S” titled tagged on. First was the 3rd generation iPhone “3GS”–standing for speed–and later the iPhone 4S representing the device’s voice assistant–Siri. While the countdown to the “iPhone 5S” continues, let’s go over several possibilities as to what “S” could stand for.

During WWDC 2013, Apple unveiled a new iCloud feature called “iCloud Keychain”. Similar to services like 1Password, it can fill out password forms automatically. Managing these countless passwords is something that has proven to be difficult today with the long and complex strings that we need to use to keep us secure.

Here’s how Apple described iCloud Keychain (via iMore) at the developer conference.

iCloud Keychain. Lots of things you do on the web require passwords. Now iCloud can remember your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers for you. And Safari will enter them automatically whenever you need to sign in to a site or shop online. It works on all your approved iOS 7 devices and Mac computers running OS X Mavericks. And with 256-bit AES encryption, it’s highly secure.

Password Generator. Every time you create an account, you can have Safari generate a unique, hard‑to‑guess password. And remember it for you.

So what does this have to do with the iPhone 5S name? Well I’ll answer that later on…

Two Step AuthIn March of this year Apple rolled out two-step verification for Apple IDs in the U.S., later expanding it to more countries. If your Apple ID is ever compromised and thieves try to make purchases or changes to your account on a untrusted device, they’ll be required to enter a four digit code–locking them out of your device. Here’s how Apple describes this feature:

Two-step verification is an optional security feature for your Apple ID. It requires you to verify your identity using one of your devices before you can:

  • Sign in to My Apple ID to manage your account.
  • Make an iTunes, App Store, or iBooks Store purchase from a new device.
  • Get Apple ID-related support from Apple.

Turning on two-step verification reduces the possibility of someone accessing or making unauthorized changes to your account information at My Apple ID or making purchases using your account.

Apple has already upped the ante against hackers and data thieves with two security expansions this year, with even more happening behind the scenes. Doubling down on secuirty isn’t enough. Apple still has more up its sleeve.

Another security feature Apple unveiled during iOS 7′s preview is Activation Lock, apart of Apple’s Find My iPhone feature set. This service intends on preventing iPhone and iOS device theft by putting one more layer of protection between your phone and a potential crook.

We all know that Apple is unique in that it controls the hardware and software of its products. This can bring wonders and, as we all know, Apple is likely going to introduce some new hardware for this next increase in security. It’ll also likely make a great addition to enterprise users.

The 7th generation iPhone’s killer feature is said to be a fingerprint sensor. We each have our own unique set of fingerprints on our hands. These sets of prints can provide one of the best passwords out there.

Back in July 2012 Apple purchased leading security firm AuthenTec for 356 million dollars. AuthenTec owned several patents on fingerprint recognition which Apple now owns. AuthenTec first integrated a fingerprint sensors in IBM’s ThinkPad T42 laptops in 2004, expanded the tech to several laptops over the years, and later brought it to smartphones in 2011 with the Motorola Atrix 4G. Now, it’s moving to the Cupertino-based corporation’s smartphone.

With more and more evidence pointing to Apple’s next iPhone holding a fingerprint scanner, as well as with Apple’s other security expansions made earlier this year, we’re likely to see the iPhone 5S one of the most secure smartphones ever. And that’s why I believe Tim Cook will call it the iPhone 5Security.

Analyst Ben Bajarin and TIMES tech columnist sums up Apple’s security efforts perfectly.

Other possibilities as to what the “S” stands for?

  • Scanner – Representing the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint scanner.
  • Speed – Faster LTE with LTE Advance, Apple’s more efficient and faster A7 chip along with faster LPDDR3 RAM. Apple could recycle Speed from the 3GS.
  • Seven – This is the seventh generation iPhone. Which reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld. “It’s Mickey Mantle’s number.”
  • Storage – Increasing the iPhone’s storage capacity to 128 GB of flash memory
  • Slow/ Slow motion – The iPhone 5S’ is also expected to launch with a slow motion camera feature. This would be a risky marketing ploy.
  • Steve – Named after Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs. This was a name suggestion that was tossed around a lot when the iPhone 4S was in style. “iPhone 5 Steve” wouldn’t fit too well as it did with the iPhone 4S. Again a risky ploy.
  • Screen/Size – In an effort to innovate. Apple increased the iPhone 5S’ screen size to 5″ along with a 2048×1536 retina display. Included in the box is one straitjacket.

September 10th is Apple’s next keynote and we’ve got a preview right here.


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