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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.

"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.

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

szw-mapple fan

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Jul 28, 2012
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Very wise move by Apple. One of their best decisions in recent years.
 
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newdeal

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Oct 21, 2009
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I don't doubt this necessarily but the Moto G has the same dimple and I highly doubt that they were going to put a sensor in a phone that cheap
 

bbeagle

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Oct 19, 2010
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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.
 
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pgiguere1

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May 28, 2009
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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.
 

unplugme71

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May 20, 2011
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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.
Well the iPad was designed well before the iPhone was even mentioned 6 months before launch. So yeah, probably.
 

dec.

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Apr 15, 2012
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Odd location for a fingerprint sensor.
Technically it's not bad if you are ok with being limited to your index finger, which automatically ends up on that location.

I prefer the Apple solution, not because "Apple cannot do no wrong" but simply for the reason that I have both thumbs and index fingers stored - for example when I use the phone in the kitchen while cooking (or mixing drinks :) ) I can leave it face up on the counter and unlock it with my index fingers instead of having to pick it up or twisting my wrist to get the thumb down on it. One hand operation works great this way.
 

inkswamp

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Jan 26, 2003
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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.
 
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coolfactor

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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.
The presence of the dimple doesn't necessarily mean that they foresaw a fingerprint sensor being there... it probably just means that they identified that as a great location for one, much like Apple incorporated the sensor into the existing Home button.
 

coolfactor

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it's curious to me how much the fingerprint feature has been downplayed by the android world. I just upgraded to a 6s 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.
6s?
 

Michael Scrip

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Mar 4, 2011
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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.
It doesn't take that much time. I think most new phones take 18 months on average.

Motorola knew AuthenTec was unavailable long before they started designing the Nexus 6.

But when the time came... they were hoping the "2nd best supplier" would provide a fingerprint sensor.

It clearly wasn't ready yet.
 

WordMasterRice

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Aug 3, 2010
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It's curious to me how much the fingerprint feature has been downplayed by the Android world. I just upgraded to a 6S 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.
I'm not sure that they are downplaying how nice the fingerprint sensor is as much as how it affects your choice to buy a device. I don't think that the fingerprint sensor is a singular feature that is going to sway someone who was going to buy an android phone into buying an iPhone or vice versa. I also don't think that adding the sensor is going to change who buys it all that much.

It is an awesome feature, but I don't think it changes the buying equation all that much, especially for people who aren't already used to having it.
 

HenryDJP

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Nov 25, 2012
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All this nonsense about "Nexus couldn't get this because Apple already bought it". Yeah, and Apple's Macintosh computers couldn't get in the hands of as many because Microsoft strong-armed their way into the sector pushing Windows in everybody's face.
My point is, it's business. It's ridiculous to say Nexus couldn't get the fingerprint sensor because Apple bought the company. WTF is this, a blame against Apple? Stupid news article.
 

the-msa

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Oct 24, 2013
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The presence of the dimple doesn't necessarily mean that they foresaw a fingerprint sensor being there... it probably just means that they identified that as a great location for one, much like Apple incorporated the sensor into the existing Home button.
huh? the dimple has been there since the end of 2013 when the moto g launched, which had the dimple already. the design of the nexus 6 is basically a clone of the moto x.
 

masotime

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Jun 24, 2012
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Could you take a photo of your 6S? I'm very curious to see what it looks like. :cool:

It's curious to me how much the fingerprint feature has been downplayed by the Android world. I just upgraded to a 6S 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.
 

xdigi

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Jan 16, 2015
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Somebody better call the Wahbulance for Motorola, they're drowning in tears.
 

melendezest

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Jan 28, 2010
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Well played, Apple. Well played.

It shows Apple still has cunning in the "business warfare" side of things.
 

0815

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Jul 9, 2010
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here and there but not over there
It's curious to me how much the fingerprint feature has been downplayed by the Android world. I just upgraded to a 6S 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.
Wow - where did you get the 6S ... you must have good connections to Apple to get a secret prototype :D
 
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