Apple Takes it to the Next Level...
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“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin said this and Apple takes it very seriously. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is all set to take the multinational patent battle with Samsung to the next level. The strategy is quite simple ‘Do not let a powerful weapon fall into enemy hands.’ Many think that Apple’s patented and yet unreleased iWallet and iTravel mobile apps that rely on NFC technology will become a reality with AuthenTec’s digital security capabilities.
Was improving their security capability the only intention or was there anything more to it when Apple agreed to acquire AuthenTec, a Florida-based firm, which develops technology to secure networks and mobile devices using fingerprint sensors and identity management for $356 million?
From what we heard just a few days ago AuthenTec had got into an agreement with Samsung to cover security and device management services to cater to the “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) trend. With this the IT comptroller’s could easily secure and authenticate the devices.
The IP Agreement provides Apple with the right to acquire nonexclusive licenses along with certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company licenses. This property could be used by Apple to develop new products and to gain leverage over competitors.
With the fear creeping in that Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) may not be around for a long time, many of the enterprises are adapting to the iOS and Android environment for their mobile business capabilities. The number of iPhones in the enterprise has doubled from a year ago, but at the same time the Android devices from Samsung hves also been on a rising trend.
Apple would want to build upon its enterprise credibility to make sure Samsung, by far the biggest Android phone maker, doesn’t gain ground in the space.
It is not just about the patent fight, it’s also about a give and take relationship with Samsung. A separate Samsung company supplies Apple with displays for iPhone and iPad. Now with Apple acquiring AuthenTec, it becomes a supplier to Samsung for critical technology like its QuickSec™ VPN security.
But then it’s not just Samsung. The client list of Authentec is long and it includes some big names like Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Nokia, Lenovo, LG, Orange, Sky and Texas Instruments.
AuthenTec offers Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) one of their core products something called HP SimplePass,which is used by all HP notebooks as the fingerprint security solution that have fingerprint readers, and includes the hardware, software and authentication service.
DataDefender used for Android devices for password protecting individual apps is another AuthenTec product.
TrueSuite, an AuthenTec product, is the leading fingerprint software for the Windows platform. It’s designed to allow fingerprint swiping as a replacement for passwords.
There is no clarity on whether this deal will mean a continuation of existing deals for the competitors of Apple with AuthenTec or…
Now we won’t say it but it’s for you to figure out what’s quite obvious….
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