A translated report this afternoon from etnews reveals that AuthenTec, the company acquired by Apple in July, will soon cease sales of their fingerprint sensor offerings. Current customers, including Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung were notified that the technology will not be offered beginning in 2013. As etnews states, these companies are in a state of panic as they search for an alternative supplier of fingerprint sensor technologies.
Apple hasn’t made use of the fingerprint sensor in any current generation devices, but are expected to in future releases. They could use this type of technology to form a ‘fingerprint unlock’ method over the four-digit password.
If Passbook is ever granted NFC technology in the future then a fingerprint scanning feature would be a more secure way of completing transactions. That could be one way Apple embeds AuthenTec’s technology, however Apple isn’t a very predictable company in certain ways.
The acquisition of AuthenTec occurred on July 27th, 2012 for $356 million. The deal is expected to close in October when the AuthenTec board finishes approving the transaction. The company opened for business in 1998 and has various popular customers, as described above, and including HP, Nokia, and Texas Instruments.