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iPhone fingerprint speculation has positive impact on industry as a whole: reports


Whether or not Apple integrates a fingerprint sensor that works has yet to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: all of this speculation has had a positive impact on the biometrics industry as a whole.

Since before the launch of the iPhone 5, the internet has been ripe with rumours that Apple was looking to integrate a sensor into its iPhone, and last year, that intent became pretty clear when the tech giant scooped up prevalent fingerprint sensor manufacturer Authentec for a cool US$356 million.

Reported in Bloomberg this morning, biometric company stocks have for the most part, shown significant growth since Apple’s Authentec deal. As the report notes, shares of Precise Biometrics have almost doubled since.

Precise Biometrics hasn’t been the only company to witness this growth.

Fingerprint Cards, which manufactures small fingerprint sensors and has many customers in the mobile space, has also seen tremendous growth over the past year.

Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, Fingerprint Cards recently released its interim report for the period of January-June 2013 and despite some recently-lowered expectations, the company has been busy, to say the least.

“The second quarter can be summarized as the best in the company’s history, with the highest sales levels to date and [a recent] collaboration with Microsoft, which is cause for our highly positive outlook for the next few years,” Johan Carlström, President and CEO said in the corporate report.

According to the Bloomberg report, the Fingerprint Cards stock has risen more than tenfold since the AuthenTec deal and has surged 14 percent today.

In a recent Research Note, the Biometrics Research group said that it expects the next round of smartphones will incorporate biometrics, and that integration will be driven by smartphone and tablet manufactures, including Apple and Samsung.  

Another recent research report on the global multi-factor authentication market projects that the market will reach $5.45 billion by 2017, and gives a big nod to biometric identification technologies for its role in the space.

Despite this encouraging research and market activity, there have been reports to suggest that Apple and Samsung have both faced similar but separate difficulties with their rumored biometric integrations.

The Biometrics Research Group has also noted that the trend of consolidation in the industry, which includes Apple’s purchase of AuthenTec, will continue.

In 2010, 3M acquired Cogent at an aggregate value of almost $1 billion. Also, in 2011, SAFRAN SA closed the acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions for $1.09 billion.

“What the Biometrics Research Group has observed is significant consolidation of the biometrics industry, where a few large multinational firms, who are actively pursuing government, as well as commercial applications, have acquired many small companies,” Rawlson King, Biometrics Research Group lead researcher said. “We expect this trend to continue.”

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