updated 09:42 am EDT, Fri July 27, 2012
Could bolster security in iOS devices
Apple has signed a deal to buy a Florida-based company, AuthenTec, at a price of $8 per share or about $356 million, Reuters says. That's a premium of 58 percent over AuthenTec's Thursday closing value. While largely unknown to the public, the firm makes fingerprint sensor chips used in computers, and various other forms of security software and chips for cellphones; some of the company's clients include Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Samsung. Notably, the company also produces chips involved in near-field communication (NFC) technologies.
For a long time rumors have suggested that Apple is working on adding NFC support to the iPhone, and talk has revived for the sixth-generation model. NFC could have several uses; while the main one would likely be e-wallet/ticketing transactions, it might also be used to enable device-to-device file transfers, or carrying settings between multiple computers.
One news site, Bezinga, says that AuthenTec's board unanimously approved the takeover earlier this week. The deal still isn't fully complete, however, because it requires majority shareholder approval, as well as a few other steps.