Apple to Buy Mobile Security Company AuthenTec for $356 Million

logoReuters reports that Apple will be acquiring AuthenTec for $356 million.

AuthenTec Inc (AUTH.O), which makes fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers, said it agreed to be bought by Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for about $356 million.

Reuters describes AuthenTec as a maker of fingerprint sensor chips. AuthenTec recently had announced a partnership with Samsung as their VPN Security provider.

ATRIX AES1750 AuthenTec
From their fact sheet, AuthenTec describes its technology:

AuthenTec's award-winning smart fingerprint sensors provide multiple touch-powered features that extend beyond user authentication to include convenience, personalization and touch control. The Company's TouchChip area fingerprint sensors and modules comply with government and industry standards and offer the ruggedness, strong security and ease of integration needed for quick and broad deployment. TouchChip sensors dramatically lower the size, cost and power of fingerprint sensors versus optical-based fingerprint solutions.

AuthenTec's "swipe sensors" is described to use sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface.

Notably, one sensor is marketed for use specifically for authentication for mobile wallets. Apple has been rumored to be looking into mobile payments. Their Passbook technology in iOS 6 is a first step, but Apple has yet to deploy a more full scale system. Fingerprint authentication could fit into a larger payment strategy.

SeekingAlpha had recently speculated that AuthenTech may supply security chips for the next generation iPhone.

Apple is not going to the trouble of adding a biometric sensor just so that you don't have to use a four digit password. They are adding a biometric sensor so that the iPhone can become a safe and secure payment device.

Top Rated Comments

acidblue Avatar
124 months ago
Real stuff = Costs less

Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies. There is so much more needed in the engineering of hardware, and the accompanying software than there is in a stupid 'social app'. Hardware companies have to deal with real world engineering, real-world supply chain management etc. Where silly little software companies can just offload all the distribution off to the cloud. An app company can make a silly picture taking app that distorts your photos and they are all of a sudden worth a billion dollars; crazy.

/rant.

But, all-in-all, it's a cool acquisition. Hopefully they do something cool with it.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samac92 Avatar
124 months ago
from 9to5mac:
Just last week, AuthenTec entered an agreement (http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/518/Samsung-Selects-AuthenTecs-VPN-Security-to-Enhance-Enterprise-Security-in-New-Android-Smartphones-Ta.aspx) with Samsung to implement secure VPNs for its Android hardware. Whoops.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DTphonehome Avatar
124 months ago
I find it hilarious how many people think they know the cost vs. benefit of Apple's acquisitions more than Tim Cook and Co. They don't just buy up companies for no reason, and they don't waste money, but, like all things, they keep it close to the chest.

Well obviously they know what they're doing. I'm not implying otherwise. I was just hoping geniuses such as yourself would have some more insight on this than morons like me.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MisterK Avatar
124 months ago
Not replacing your credit cards... you're WALLET

Apple realizes (I think) that the goal is not replacing a credit card. That's a short-sighted goal. Apple WILL replace the credit card, of course, but as a stop-gap measure. Swiping your iPhone will charge to your iTunes account, which is tied to whatever credit card you want. Eventually this middle-man route also leaves Apple to negotiate better deals or remove the credit card companies altogether and you'll not notice (or care) because the system will be the same; you'll still be charging to your AppleID. But, like I said, this is all stop-gap.

The real goal is to replace the entire wallet and maybe even my keys. Why replace the credit card when I still have to carry around my driver's license, passport, and other IDs? I'd still have to carry a wallet anyway.This is a longer term goal, but significantly better. Your phone trusting that you are you is the first step.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
124 months ago
Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies.
If it makes you feel any better, Instagram was purchased more for its massive number of users than its software technology.

arn
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macboy Pro Avatar
124 months ago
I'd like the ability to get a fingerprint if your phone is stolen and have it reported to a database. Bet there would be a lot less stolen phones. The alternative is a remote self destruct like a James Bond Movies. (Hot Potato anyone? ) :D
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange

Next iPad Pro Might Feature Large Glass Apple Logo to Allow Wireless Charging

Friday January 14, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022. While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...