AuthenTec snapped up by Apple
31 July 2012 18:06 GMT

Apple deal could boost the entire industry

Silicon fingerprint sensor manufacturer, AuthenTec, has been snapped up by Apple, in a deal believed to be worth $350 million. The deal could propel biometric technology further into the mainstream, potentially creating a surge in demand and acceptability for biometric technology.

Apple is paying $8 a share in the deal, AuthenTec said in a filing, a premium of 58 per cent over AuthenTec’s closing share price before the deal was announced.

Apple will also be able to license certain hardware and/or software technology and patents on a perpetual, non-exclusive basis for up to $115.0 million.

Fingerprint technology could see an upward curve, the likes of which the industry hasn't yet experienced.

The deal will bring fingerprint recognition technology expertise to Apple, as well as technology that allows users to securely access virtual private networks (VPNs) – something which will boost Apple's bid to penetrate business markets – a domain previously dominated by the likes of BlackBerry.

It was only a matter of weeks ago that AuthenTec announced Samsung, one of Apple's main rivals, had chosen its VPN security for use in new Android smartphone and tablet models.

AuthenTec's small form-factor fingerprint sensor technology has been a regular feature in many PCs, mobile phones and laptops over the years. The deal with Apple could signal that biometrics may at last be coming to Apple's devices.

If it does, the uptake of fingerprint technology could see an upward curve, the likes of which the industry hasn't yet experienced.