Apple to Buy Mobile Security Company AuthenTec for $356 Million

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Reuters reports that Apple will be acquiring AuthenTec for $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.


    From their fact sheet, AuthenTec describes its technology:
    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.
    Article Link: Apple to Buy Mobile Security Company AuthenTec for $356 Million
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Chicago, USA
    hmm...fingerprint security for iPhone? that would be cool.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    I've always wanted a finger print scanner to unlock my phone. My only question is where are these "20 million mobile phones" that already have this tech?
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    This is awesome. Next version of Macbook, iMac, iPhone, iPad, and iPhone will have a finger scanner located near the pad or will replace the menu button on the iPhone and it will automatically log you in instead of having to enter your username and password.

    Of course this has been tried before with notebooks and PDA's but with dismal failure. But Apple will make it better and succeed. :D
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    from 9to5mac:
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    They need to put the sensor behind the screen.
  7. macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2012
    Touchscreen macintosh? Imagine the price :|


    Apple always make it better and succeed, there will be no exception here : )
  8. macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    Fingerprint sensors will be in future apple products people!!(And I don't think they'll merely be for locking and unlocking)
  9. macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2003
    Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?
  10. macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Hope to see this tech in the next iPhone, would be pretty cool, though as I don’t use a passcode already, security isn’t really that big for me :p

    That said, I can imagine this tying into iCloud and iTunes for a more futuristic security system for accounts. Would be interesting.
  11. macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Other than the appearance of the scanner, what can you seriously do to improve on a fingerprint scanner based authentication system? :rolleyes:
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    And that's why I'm very dubious about this or any other biometrics system. All biometrics are is a digital password generated from your fingerprint. Your fingerprint unlocks a hash that is the security key. All someone has to do is steal the hash and they're in. Worst yet, you can't change your 'password' without getting a new fingerprint.

    We'll see how Apple implements this but I'm skeptical.
  13. macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    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
  15. macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    East Maitland, NSW, AU
    I'd love a fingerprint scanner to be on iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pro and airs, and heck even the iMac.

    Would sure beat a pass code for security.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    This was last feature, which I miss on Apple machine after switching from IBMs (international business machine) :)
  17. macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2002
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Biometric and sensor companies probably have a lot more up their sleeves than just the products they have brought to market.
  18. macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Roswell, GA (unfortunately)
    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.


    But, all-in-all, it's a cool acquisition. Hopefully they do something cool with it.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    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.
  20. macrumors newbie


  21. macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2010
    Yeah, a lot of IP
  22. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    But, in this case the hash would be coming from a physical chip hardwired inside the phone. So the hacker would also need to somehow emulate that as well.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    You could use it for Electronic Signature. When you buy something or need to sign some contract on your iPhone or Macbook the scanner can be used for Electronic Signatures instead of what they have today where you enter your name twice which I think is a silly way of doing Electronic Signature.
  24. macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    Now that's a great idea! Er… the fingerprint capturing I mean. :) Now all you have to do is address privacy concerns, get it government approved, coordinate with police systems and databases… Yep, I can see it coming to the iPhone in 2024.
  25. macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2011
    Do you guys think this has any chance of making it into the 2012 iPhone? Usually, it takes Apple some time to assimilate their acquisitions into their products (e.g., the maps companies or Siri). Maybe the 2013 iPhone?

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