Earlier this week, Apple announced it’s intention to buy AuthenTec Inc. for approximately $356 million dollars. This quick glimpse into Apple’s thought process gives us a lot of clues about what we might see in Apple’s new iPhone 5. It also leaves a lot of enticing questions still unanswered.
AuthenTec is a large technology firm that specializes in fingerprint scanning technology. As people store more and more information on their smartphones, they’re become more concerned with security.
It’s possible that Apple could be using this fingerprint technology to replace passwords or it’s slide-to-unlock screen. This way users can stay safe and secure while enjoying whatever advanced capabilities the iPhone 5 is sure to have.
One of those advanced capabilities may be Near Field Communication (NFC). Some sleuthing reporters sniffed around Apple’s patent filings and found evidence that Apple may be equipping the iPhone five with this Android technology.
Right now, the iOS is one of the only OS with no NFC capability. Google phones equipped with NFC-enabled Android Beam allow you to share photos, docs and websites just by touching another Beam phone or make quick payments at PayPass stations.
In an effort to compete with Android phones, Apple may be equipping its phones with the same thing. But we have an inkling that they will go above and beyond as the iPhones often do.
Is there some secret deal with Visa that will allow the iPhone 5 to double as a credit card? Or is there something else even more groundbreaking in the works that needs heavy-duty security? We do know one thing: Apple certainly does know how to use secrecy to create a healthy amount of buzz.
Sticking it to Samsung?
Apple may have had some other motives for buying AuthenTec. What didn’t make the headlines in this story was that Samsung partnered with AuthenTec just before Apple bought it out. Now the fingerprint technology is Apple’s and Samsung has no access to it. Is this — along with their aggressive lawsuit — Apple’s way of getting Samsung back for taking the number one spot? It sure looks like it.
Also, this buy out comes right on the heels of reports that NFC-enabled Androids are easy to hack. So now stories about Android hacks appear right alongside Apple’s new beefed-up security. It would be hard to plan a better PR move to take down the competition. Maybe it is too soon to write Apple off as down for the count.