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Fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec (NASDAQ:AUTH), which was acquired by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently, will start throwing off existing customers starting next year. According to Korean news website etnews, the company has reportedly started notifying existing customers that it will not be offering its technology to them anymore.
AuthenTec’s fingerprint technology is currently used by Samsung, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Lenovo, and Fujitsu, among others. Etnews added that companies had been left in a “state of panic” in their scramble to find optimal replacements quickly.
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Apple bought AuthenTec in July for $356 million, explaining in a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission filing last month that it was hoping to make use of the firm’s Smart Sensor hardware. The component acts as a touchpad controller, allowing for user interface navigation with a single finger. It can also differentiate between fingers to associate them with separate tasks. Fujitsu’s Regza smartphone uses the technology, according to Apple Insider.
It has also been speculated that Apple may use AuthenTec’s fingerprint sensor technology in a future iPhone model as a biometric security feature or as an eventual augmentation for the Passbook app.
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