9 Million iPhones Sold, As Apple's 5S Touch ID Fingerprint Scanner Hacked By Starbug
The new string of iPhones have freaked out investors, been greeted with a lukewarm response by critics, and apparently already proven that biometrics aren't a feasible alternative to passwords. But Apple die-hards don't care: lines for the new models ran around the block over the weekend, and the company sold an unprecedented 9 million models. If you weren't one of the lucky ones, you won't get your hands on another until at least October.
This weekend was a big one for the big fishes at Apple: CEO Tim Cook finally joined Twitter, gold iPhones are being lapped up by China, and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) was pulled from the Apple and Android app stores hours after its launch. (BlackBerry claimed that a leaked version had ruined things for everybody, but quickly mentioned that over a million people already signed up for the service.) In Apple Stores in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., fans lined up for a slice of the action. (In the line, homeless people were allegedly being used as stand-ins for what are surely some wonderful people.) The company declared Monday that the phones were in "incredible" demand.
Said Tim Cook, in a clear "fuck-you" to all of those skittish investors:
Manufacturing companies have claimed that the fingerprint scanner is difficult to construct, which has prompted a "grotesque shortage" of models. Though some claimed that the scanner would pave the road for a wave of biometric technology and greater security, it appears to have been cracked by hackers already. The website IsTouchIDHackedYet.com changed their interface from "no" to "maybe" after hacker group Starbug declared that it had used laser printing to make fake fingerprints, which in turn opened the phone. They then posted it on YouTube. Who said hackers were covert?
If Starbug's method proves correct, then Starbug will be eligible for a crowd-sourced prize awarded to the first group to crack Touch ID: a casual $20,000, plus a few bottles of booze and, um, porn.
In more bad news for Apple, initial durability tests have revealed that the new 5S and 5C models are more likely to break when dropped than any of its predecessors. (Clearly Apple felt that there weren't enough cracked iPhone screens in the world already, eh?)
The company's scene-changing iOS 7, however, is proving successful: Apple's saying that 200 million users (more than half of its base) have updated to the latest version. This, plus news of gajillions of new iPhones sold, has sent Apple's stocks up by 3.7 percentage points.
Finally, some Twitter users believe they can one-up the "hacking" competition.