Mobile Devices

August 16, 2013

Apple's New iPhone May Feature Biometric Fingerprint Technology

Last week, MobilityTechzone CEO Rich Tehrani wrote a blog about how Tim Cook's board at Apple is bemoaning its recent lack of innovation.

As Tehrani pointed out, Steve Jobs had a way of knowing what we wanted before we did. Not that Tim Cook isn't doing a good job, but iOS hasn't had any major updates in a while. The interface is the same. Also, the iPhone screen is still too small. More importantly, what amazing new mobile computing products can Apple come up with after the iPad?

Forbes apparently agrees. Yesterday, Computerworld reported that Apple had dropped to No. 79 on the Forbes 100 Most Innovative Companies List. At least Apple did better than Microsoft—its competitor up in Redmond didn't even make the list. Still, it's a steep plunge for a company that used to consistently end up in the Top 10.

Apple may release its newest iPhone on September 10. Many anticipate that the device will utilize biometric fingerprint technology. In other words, instead of typing in a passcode (or just "sliding to unlock," which wouldn't apply to you, because your iPhone is passcode-protected, right?), you may be able to simply press your fingerprint against the lock screen to unlock your iPhone.

Last year, Apple purchased AuthenTec, Inc., a fingerprint sensor maker, for $350 million. Also, industry watchers ABI Research and KGI Securities have predicted that the new iPhone will utilize biometrics. Other smartphone manufacturers have also started investing in biometrics in a race to keep up with Apple.

As a result, biometric company stock prices have increased sharply. For example, Precise Biometrics has seen its share price double since Apple bought AuthenTec. Fingerprint Cards AB has jumped tenfold in the same time period.

While biometrics companies have enjoyed a boost, we have yet to see whether the new iPhone will improve Apple's innovation cred. According to Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business, Apple's board isn't ready to dump Tim Cook. They just want to see something new in the pipeline.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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