Apple acquires AuthenTec for $356m


Apple acquires AuthenTec for $356m

Kathleen Hall

Apple is to acquire finger print sensor technology company AuthenTec for $356m (£227m), in a move to enter the mobile payments space.

The technology enables smartphone users to securely identify themselves when making mobile payments.

The acquisition of a publicly listed company is unusual for Apple, which typically buys smaller businesses that do not have to disclose financial details.

Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum, said he would not be surprised if Apple made further acquisitions to address the gaps in its mobile device technologies, as competitors vie to steal its market share.

“I suspect more acquisitions are likely," he said. "While Apple has a massive base of loyal users, it has some clear gaps in its armoury, particularly with apps and online services – something it has tried to shore up with the iCloud, for example.

“But it is still leaving gaps some rivals are benefiting from – for example Apple recently announced it was developing its own mapping platform, presumably to kick Google out.”

Cripps said the AuthenTec acquisition was not intended to make Apple money straight away, but would add to its future device offering. 

“It’s a piece of useful technology that Apple could use for a variety things not just mobile payments,” he added.

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