This will eliminate the home button as we know it. Now, of course, this is just rumour. This is based on Apple’s acquisition of Authentec last month.
It might be too soon to incorporate that into the iPhone 5 that could very well be announced next week. It is certainly reasonable to expect that before Apple paid 350 million for the company it would have tried out the products very diligently. So yes, it is kind of possible.
I don’t know whether the finger print scanner will come this year or next. The scanner itself is not new technology. In fact, I have seen HP PDAs in 2002 that had the fingerprint scanner built right in for logging in using Windows CE software. So it wouldn’t be all that difficult to get in.
The implications in 2012, though, are tremendous. Each finger can be used to launch a special app. For example, the index finger can be used to launch email, the ring finger to make payments to NFC terminals, etc.