Fingerprint scanners on computers and smartphones are a not a new thing. First devices have been on the market a decade ago. Problem was that they did not work reliably. If Apple managed to develop a fingerprint scanner for the iPhone 5S that works every time than there will be a massive Fingerprint revolution in consumer electronics.
I know many people that enter a passcode every time they pick up their smartphone. It helps secure your device, but it is a big pain in the butt. Apple is seen to solve this pain with the introduction of a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S. There have been fingerprint scanners on laptops and smartphones before, but they have not been reliable and degraded quickly.
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If Apple solved the fingerprint sensor for smartphones than we will see a fingerprint scanners rolling out to all personalized consumer electronics. If Apple did not do their home work on the fingerprint scanner, the company sets itself up for a PR disaster.
A horror scenario would be for instance if the fingerprint scanner could be easily hacked. Let's hope for Apple that they developed a robust, reliable and secure fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5S. The Wall Street Journal has some background on the topic as well here.