September 10, 2012
New iPhone 5 Could Feature Fingerprint Authentication Technology
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Apple is in the process of taking over the company behind a fingerprint-authentication technology that some believe could be utilized in future iPad and iPhone products, various media outlets are reporting.
According to Guardian telecommunications correspondent Juliette Garside, it looks likely that the California-based tech giant will acquire Florida-based AuthenTec next month. The firm, which specializes in fingerprint scanning, is expected to approve the $365-million deal during its next board meeting on October 4.
"The company specialises in mobile phone security and is developing 2D fingerprint sensors for Apple, according to the merger documents," Garside said. "The two companies have been talking since late last year and there have been suggestions the hi-tech sensors could appear as an eyecatching feature of the iPhone 5 when it is unwrapped on Wednesday."
"AuthenTec signed a development contract with Apple in July which runs until September 2013, just in time for next year's iPhone launch," she added. "If fingerprint scanning is not among this year's new features, it looks likely to appear in the next handset update."
In a September 3 report, Northern Voices Online said that Apple's proposed acquisition of AuthenTec was first revealed in a recent filing by the latter firm. In that filing, AuthenTec reportedly revealed that Apple had agreed to pay $8 per share for the authentication development firm and that the deal would be finalized in the third quarter after approval by shareholders and regulators.
"Apple´s tablet and smartphone have been recently gaining in popularity among business users. But, apart from the four-pin security code, the devices need a natural and highly safe option for security," the website explained, adding that the acquisition could come as a serious blow to several of Apple´s major competitors, including Samsung, Nokia, Cisco and Texas Instruments, all of whom were using or planning to use AuthenTec's authentication technology in their products.
Last month, after news of the possible acquisition broke, AuthenTec rival CBA Japan Inc released a statement offering Apple competitors that produced Android and/or Windows-based devices exclusive use of their own optical fingerprinting technology in tablets, notebooks, and other devices.
"Since Apple's competitors cannot obtain parts from Apple, their only choice is to utilize the optical fingerprint sensing technology from CBA Japan, already being supplied to one million phones made by Sharp," the company said. "It is against this background that CBA Japan is offering the use of its optical fingerprint sensors and fingerprint algorithms to all Android product manufacturers and all Microsoft-related manufacturers worldwide. This will enable companies worldwide to stave off Apple and AuthenTec and develop their businesses."