The hottest chatter emerging from the rumor mill today is that Apple's next-generation iPhone 5S, which could debut within the next 8-12 weeks, may present a snazzy new fingerprint-scanning home button enclosed by a scratch-proof sapphire crystal glass.

Although rumors have persisted for some time now with regard to Apple introducing a fingerprint sensor in a subsequent iPhone refresh, this news from supply chain sources in Taiwan suggests the possibility of a much bigger effort on Apple's part to make the home button as revolutionary as possible.

Itís thought that using sapphire crystal, which has a hardness second only to diamond, will prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor.
Apple, of course, has already demonstrated an appetite for sapphire crystal, as evidenced by the iPhone 5 camera lens on its back. Apple opted for sapphire crystal as a means to minimize scratches and preserve photo quality for users.

For now, sources speaking with Taiwanese website TechNew maintain the sapphire crystal touch home button is practically a sure-thing on the next iPhone refresh.

Source: TechNew (via Cult of Mac)