You might recall that Apple quietly purchased fingerprint scanning firm AuthenTec back in July for $356 million, by far its most expensive acquisition in recent history. According to new reports surfacing this morning, that acquisition could have been rushed in order for Apple to integrate that fingerprint technology into its next-generation iPhone for use with Passbook and NFC payments. The Next Web explains in further detail:
During the talks, Apple’s representatives noted the company’s desire to move quickly with the deal due to its “product plans and ongoing engineering efforts.” With Apple wanting to finalize the deal with a quickness, it would be easy to suggest that it was looking to incorporate AuthenTec’s new technology in its upcoming products.
Perhaps the next-generation iPhone is a stretch considering that Apple would only have three months to integrate the fingerprint technology before its rumored September launch, although One Infinite Loop is certainly interested in implementing the 2D fingerprint scanners into its products at some point in the future. A recent proxy statement filing with the SEC for shareholders confirms those plans, found just ahead.
The IP agreement provides Apple with the right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company for commercialization of 2D fingerprint sensors for use in or with Apple products.
What do you think about the prospect of fingerprint technology for Passbook and NFC payments on iPhone? Apple might also use the fingerprint sensors as a method of unlocking your iOS device in lieu of the traditional “slide to unlock” gesture, although it is likely that both options would remain as a way to unlock your device.
The sixth-generation iPhone is rumored to be thinner with a 4-inch display and aluminum unibody chassis, smaller 8-pin, 9-pin or 19-pin dock connector, centered FaceTime camera, redesigned speaker grills and a headphone jack relocated to the bottom of the handset. Moreover, it is also widely expected that Apple’s next iPhone will be compatible with LTE networks and could feature NFC for mobile payments.