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Apple acquiring most any company would certainly be worthy of headlines, but a new report claims Cupertino is snatching up the creator of "award-winning smart fingerprint sensors" which could point to the company's future plans for digital payments.
Reuters filed the briefest of reports on Friday morning on Apple's plans to purchase AutenTec Inc. for "about $356 million." That amounts to an $8 per-share offer of the company, and "a premium of 58 percent over AuthenTec's Thursday close of $5.07."
Described as a company who "makes fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers," AuthenTec's own fact sheet describes them as "a leading provider of mobile and network security."
"AuthenTec encryption technology, fingerprint sensors and identity management software are deployed by the leading mobile device, networking and computing companies, content and service providers, and governments worldwide," the fact sheet reveals.
Exactly what Apple's intentions might be with AuthenTec are unclear and neither company is saying, but it's not hard to imagine that Cupertino could incorporate the security firm's fingerprint technology into something like iOS 6's Passbook app or even the mobile OS as a whole to make the iPhone more secure than simply password or four-digit codes.
"AuthenTec's award-winning smart fingerprint sensors provide multiple touch-powered features that extend beyond user authentication to include convenience, personalization and touch control," the fact sheet concludes. "The Company's TouchChip area fingerprint sensors and modules comply with government and industry standards and offer the ruggedness, strong security and ease of integration needed for quick and broad deployment."
Ironically, AuthenTec's "top tier customers" include Apple smartphone rivals LG, Motorola Mobility, Nokia and Samsung.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter