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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be planning to add fingerprint sensors to a future versions of the iPhone and the company was extremely keen to wrap up its $356 million deal for security chip firm AuthenTec (NASDAQ:AUTH) as quickly as possible. According to a filing made with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Apple had been chasing AuthenTec’s technology for almost a year before it finally decided to acquire the company.
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“Representatives of Apple also noted Apple’s desire to proceed quickly due to its product plans and ongoing engineering efforts,” the filing reads. “As a result of its focus on timing, Apple’s representatives also informed the Company that Apple would not participate in an auction process and would rescind its proposal if the board decided to solicit alternative acquisition proposals for the Company.”
Apple clearly pushed AuthenTec with its proposal. “At the meeting, a representative of Apple noted Apple’s view that $7.00 per share represented a price that other potential buyers would be unwilling to pay,” AuthenTec wrote in the filing. Apple told AuthenTec officials that they should view the offer as very attractive especially as Apple’s narrow product platform would give the company a “unity of design” that other large consumer electronics manufacturers would not.
AuthenTec’s patented swipe sensor technology reads the layer of skin beneath a user’s fingerprint, so that the print is accurate “for everyone every time,” according to its website. AuthenTec’s sensors can also associate different functions with different fingers. AuthenTec also makes security technology for mobile devices and is already used by companies such as Samsung, Motorola (NASDAQ:GOOG), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and LG.
While Apple has been rumored to be preparing the new technology for its new Passbook app and strengthening overall iOS security, it could also potentially expand AuthenTec’s offerings to work with near-field communications for touch-free mobile payments.
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