AuthenTec, the mobile security solutions company that was acquired by Apple back in July, has sold off its part of its business. The devision that supplies embedded security solutions and encryption algorithms to the likes of LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Nokia has been acquired by NFC specialists Inside Secure for $48 million.
With this portion of the business now gone, it seems Apple’s interest must lie in the AuthenTec’s other products, including its fingerprint sensors and identity management technology for NFC. Not to forget, of course, its patent portfolio.
Recent reports have suggested that the Cupertino company may be looking to use these technologies, combined with NFC, for a new contactless payment system for its iOS devices. However, it’s yet to adopt NFC, and recently defended its omission from the iPhone 5 when it launched in September.
Instead, Apple has chosen to invest in Passbook, an electronic wallet of sorts that allows users to save digital cards, coupons, and boarding passes. Rather than utilizing NFC, Passbook simply uses traditional barcodes. It’s possibly, of course, that Apple will combine Passbook with NFC later on, once it has worked out how to marry the two with AuthenTec’s security solutions.
TechCrunch reports that the sale of AuthenTec’s other, “non-essential” parts indicates that Apple is looking to recoup some of its investment on the products that are not part of its future plans. “It also ensures that once any deal is finalized, there will be less to worry about in terms of Apple gaining undue control over tech essential to the securing of its competitors products, which might raise red flags with regulators,” the report notes.