Apple has added a fingerprint scanner to its latest iPhone model, eschewing the need for password entry for purchases on the company's own iTunes and app stores.
As expected, Apple announced two new iPhones: the iPhone 5S and and a cheaper 5C model at a launch event in California on Tuesday evening.
The fingertip scanner - named Touch ID - is built into the home button of the 5S and uses a laser cut sapphire crystal along with a sensor to take a high-resolution image of a user's fingerprint. The sensor removes the need to activate the device by entering a PIN code.
All fingerprint information is encrypted and the firm has insisted it will never be stored on Apple servers.
While Apple made no claims for the scanner as a secure mechanism for online banking and shopping it will be used to approve sales of music, apps and e-books from its own online stores.