Apple's AuthenTec Acquisition Left Nexus 6 Without a Fingerprint Sensor

The dimple on the back of Motorola's Nexus 6 would have featured a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor if Apple had not acquired sensor firm AuthenTec in 2012, according to former Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside states the company had plans to include the finger-sensing feature in the Nexus 6, which was launched late last year, but due to Apple's poaching of "the best supplier" for the technology and other suppliers not meeting quality expectations, Motorola decided to remove the feature before launch.

nexus_6_lollipop

“The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside. Nonetheless, he adds, the addition of fingerprint recognition, “wouldn’t have made that big a difference.”

Woodside, now COO of Dropbox, expresses relief at freedom from these "uncontrollable market forces" in his new position. "We're not trying to serve ads or sell hardware," he told The Telegraph.

Apple's introduction of AuthenTec-based Touch ID on the iPhone 5s sparked much interest in fingerprint-sensing technology, and the company continues to work to improve upon the technology. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduced a more sensitive version of the sensor and it is now being used to authenticate purchases made with the company's new Apple Pay mobile payments service.

Top Rated Comments

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75 months ago
Why does MacRumors keep using words meant to provoke?

Apple BOUGHT a company, not POACHED it. Poaching is a term generally used for illegal activities like illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals.

The Telegraph article linked makes no mention of poaching - it uses the word BOUGHT.

Way to go, MacRumors.... keep showing your anti-Apple bias.
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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75 months ago
Very wise move by Apple. One of their best decisions in recent years.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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75 months ago

Nonetheless, he adds, the addition of fingerprint recognition, "wouldn't have made that big a difference."

It's curious to me how much the fingerprint feature has been downplayed by the Android world. I just upgraded to a 6 a couple months ago after 3 years with an iPhone 4S and I'm at that point where I don't know how I got by without the fingerprint sensor. The ability to unlock the phone that way alone is hands-down my favorite feature. It would be hard to switch to anything without it now.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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75 months ago

Odd location for a fingerprint sensor.


About as odd as the sticky lollipop leaning against the new phone. :)
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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75 months ago
So the Nexus 6's enclosure was designed at least 2.5 years before launch?
I knew that making a phone took time, but I didn't know it took that much time.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Odd location for a fingerprint sensor.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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