Apple has agreed to buy fingerprint reader AuthenTec Inc. for approximately $356 million as the maker of iPhones and iPads looks to strengthen its digital security capabilities.
Apple’s acquisition comes as consumers use their smartphones for more and more daily activities, including shopping.
“As cellphones become essentially credit cards, consumers will look to secure them in the event of theft or loss. AuthenTec’s fingerprint sensors offer one way to secure handsets,” said Raymond James analyst J. Steven Smigie.
A fingerprint system could keep unauthorized people from accessing email, contact lists and more.