a strategic purchase

Apple is the reason the Nexus 6 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner

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Since the Nexus 6 was released, it’s been evident that Google’s developer flagship came very close to having a fingerprint scanner. Thanks to ex-Motorola CEO and current Dropbox COO Dennis Woodside, we know why it was eventually axed: The available fingerprint scanners simply weren’t good enough.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Woodside explained that because Apple had purchased the “best supplier” of fingerprint recognition technology, Android makers like Motorola had to deal with “the second best supplier” and that supplier’s technology wasn’t “there yet.” Apple purchased AuthenTec in 2012 for $356 million.

Woodside also agrees with many that the Nexus 6 is a little too big for one-handed use. “It is enormous. It’s a bit big for me; I drop it all the time,” Woodside said.

Motorola Atrix had an installed fingerprint scanner based on AuthenTec technology in 2011.

[company]Motorola[/company] actually produced a phone with an AuthenTec fingerprint reader in 2011, the Atrix 4G, before Apple purchased the biometric security company. Recent reports indicate that Samsung is still unsatisfied with its fingerprint scanning feature and might be using new fingerprint scanner parts that don’t require swiping. Samsung uses CrucialTec fingerprint scanners on devices like the Galaxy S5.

Authentic ends up looking like a great purchase for [company]Apple[/company], which usually seeks to fully control the technologies it uses. It turns out that the purchase of AuthenTec for $356 million didn’t just lead to Touch ID, and therefore eventually Apple Pay. It was also a setback for competitors, who are still catching up to Apple’s fingerprint scanning technology years later.

7 Responses to “Apple is the reason the Nexus 6 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner”

  1. Joe Belkin

    No real surprise. Apple plans out the next 10 years of where they are going. Android & Google simply buys an iphone and takes it apart to see what to do next. It’s fine but don’t confuse leadership with following …

  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple Tech and commented:
    Seems like a poor excuse to me. The Motorola Atrix was marketed with a fingerprint scanner – it just was of poor quality. Apple saw the need to improve security and creating a usable and secure experience and they did what they had to in order to create Touch ID. Motorola should have taken the time to do it right. Relying on other companies to get their stuff together is exactly why they were forced to abandon these plans. Same goes for Apple and their reliance on GT Advanced for sapphire displays.