Apple may be planning an expansion of its Touch ID fingerprint authentication technology to its portable computers and peripherals in advance of a larger Apple Pay rollout, according to a Tuesday report out of Taiwan.
The forthcoming 12-inch MacBook Air — which is widely believed to include a high-resolution Retina display and vastly-reduced I/O — could also sport a Touch ID sensor positioned above its trackpad, Taiwanese Apple blog AppleCorner believes, citing supply chain sources. In addition, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad may be updated to include the biometric functionality.
That could be a prelude to making Apple Pay available for payments on the web, the blog said. Currently, Apple Pay can only be used for in-store transactions via NFC or as part of the checkout process for iOS apps.
Such an expansion would put Apple Pay in direct competition with web checkout providers like PayPal and Amazon Payments, while opening a major new market. PayPal, currently an eBay subsidiary, is preparing to separate from the online auction giant in part to streamline operations as it gears up to battle with Apple and Google in the digital wallet space.
While the veracity of these rumors is impossible to determine, AppleCorner does have a relatively good track record when it comes to peeking into Apple's Asian supply chain. Last year, the blog published parts that it claimed were for the then-unannounced iPad Air 2, which later turned out to be genuine.