Synaptics acquires Samsung partner Validity in belated effort to rival Apple’s Touch ID

“Touchpad vendor Synaptics has announced plans to acquire Validity Sensors, a primary remaining fingerprint sensor vendor following Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec last year, and a reported supplier involved in Samsung’s delayed efforts to match the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensing technology,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider. “Synaptics is currently a leading supplier of PC touchpads, including Apple among its customers; it also supplies the chips that power most smartphone touch screens apart from Apple’s. The sharp decline in PC growth at the hands of Apple’s iPad and other mobile devices that have shifted from a pointer-based interface to multitouch appears to be a contributing factor in the company’s efforts to diversify its offerings via Validity. AuthenTec had been supplying most of the world’s capacitative fingerprint sensors… However, after Apple acquired the firm for $356 million in July 2012, it stopped selling the sensors to third parties.”

Dilger reports, “Both Apple and Samsung were said to have run into severe production problems in developing a fingerprint sensor suitable for use on a mobile device, but Apple launched the feature in volume and Samsung hasn’t at all. Samsung executives have since backpedaled on their support of fingerprint login, describing it as simply a technology the company is watching to see how it unfolds. ‘We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system,’ a Samsung official was cited by the Korea Herald as saying. ‘We are not yet developing the technology.’ Part of Samsung’s problem is that there are few suppliers with suitable technology. Korea’s Crucialtec was described by that same report as being more than a year behind AuthenTec in its fingerprint scanning technology. That firm currently supplies a sensor for Pantech phones, but uses a swipe-scan system rather than the nearly instantaneous, flat pad sensor Apple is using in its iPhone 5s.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Struggling Samsung. Stuck with 32-bits. No biometrics. Low-end customers. And falling further behind the leader Apple with each passing day.


  1. Love the fact that they actually had to dead it that they were not yet developing the technology.
    More and more behind and befuddled and lying to cover it up.

    It’s all becoming clear now.

  2. “We never officially admitted…” Gotta love the prevarication!

    I am officially admitting that I enjoy occasions in which Samsung looks bad. And the frequency of those events appears to be increasing.

  3. Samsung, it could be the definition of innovation and not the translation that is holding you back.

    Innovation: Change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, breakthrough; new measures, new methods, modernization, novelty, newness; creativity, originality, ingenuity, inspiration, inventiveness; informal a shake up.

    It isn’t a copy of last years IP or available in new colors or cheaper!

    Apple is innovative. Samsung, you are not!

  4. But since Android buyers typically use the web maybe 1/5th as much as iPhone users then maybe more secure authentication just is not of interest to people who accidentally wind up with a “free” Android phone.

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