Apple will buy the finger print sensor technology firm AuthenTec for $356 millions. This deal can take Apple to the topmost position in the mobile payment sector.
Generally Apple doesn’t acquire public companies. Instead Apple looks for start ups when it needs some noteworthy cutting edge technologies. However, AuthenTec, which went public in 2007, is one of the very few public companies that Apple has acquired.
AuthenTec’s finger print technology is being used massively in Japan for mobile payments. The acquisition clearly indicates that Apple will bring such services to the US.
The embedded fingerprint scanners and other identity related software made by AuthenTec are particularly helpful in NFC (Near Field Communication). However, it should be noted that Apple’s iPhone 4s lacks NFC which Apple may fix in the next release.
Apple’s iOS 6 will feature Passbook which will allow users to store coupons , tickets, loyalty cards etc. Clearly this marks Apple’s entry into mobile payments market and will definitely require a brilliant security system. By acquiring AuthenTec Apple has ensured it has taken all the security measures required to enter the mobile payment sector. Companies like Google have their own mobile payment systems, but those services are not widely used. The major issue is security concerns. With the new security technologies Apple can offer mobile payments with better security. This security system will also help Apple tackle the problems like theft of the iDevices.
Users can expect to see how Apple utilizes the new security system after iOS 6 hits the market this fall.