Fingerprint readers coming to Apple tech?

Apple has just spent US$356m on a fingerprint security company, can you guess why?

We’re not saying Apple is definitely going to introduce fingerprint readers on its gadgets, like the iPhone 5, any time soon. But with Apple spending US$356 on AuthenTec, a fingerprint security company, it’s likely to happen in the future.

With iOS 6 doing away with passwords for free app downloads, Apple's clearly trying to make purchases even easier – could Cupertino be planning to use fingerprint recognition in place of a password for iTunes payments?

But there is a flip side – AuthenTec currently provides security for over 100 million portable devices including Samsung, LG, Nokia and Fujitsu. So Apple may simply be looking to license that tech so it can line its Cupertino pockets even more.

But Apple has a history of buying a company before using its tech – Siri was bought before it appeared in the iPhone 4S, Poly9 was snapped up before Apple’s new maps landed in iOS 6, and an ARM chip firm was bought before the new processor started appearing in its gear. So here’s hoping that famous Apple button will double as a fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5 when it lands in September.

[Via Reuters, image by Ciccaresse Design]

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