Apple aims to dominate enterprise mobility market, to challenge RIM

Telecom Lead India: The dynamics of worldwide
enterprise mobility market is going to change in coming years, as Apple seeks
to secure its products ecosystem by buying AuthenTec, a biometrics, DRM and
embedded security firm, specializing in compact fingerprint readers for
notebooks and mobile devices.


Apple has always been aiming for top position in the
enterprise market dominated by Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry


The acquisition will broaden Apple’s business horizon, as
it works towards adding mobile payments to its ecosystem of products.
Additionally, Apple is expected to introduce its Passbook software, a mobile
app for storing tickets, coupons and loyalty cards with its latest iOS 6.


Apple already has a strong footprint in the consumer
mobility and with widely accepted products and with the acquisition the company
is set for further growth.


With the acquisition, Apple is also looking to bolster
its presence in the enterprise mobility segment. The acquisition will bring
Apple in neck to neck with RIM which has a strong footprint in the enterprise


RIM will now look to hasten its process to bring out BB10
soon in order to hold its market position in the enterprise mobility.


Recently, due to weak results and grim outlook, RIM delayed BlackBerry 10 OS and delayed the launch of new


According to market predictions, BlackBerry to lead enterprise smartphone market with 12.08
million shipments in 2012. In 2012, the second largest player in enterprise
smartphone shipments based on OS will be Google Android with 7 million units.


Apple could also use the security technology for its
upcoming mobile wallet application using near-field communications.


The acquisition will open up several new options for
Apple, as the company could use the technology to enhance virtual private
network (VPN) technology in its iOS mobile operating system for the iPhone and


With such plans to roll-out, Apple will presumptively use
AuthenTec’s technology for iPhone and iPad to add bring device-based payments
with fingerprints standing in for signatures.


It is expected that Authentec will develop a 2D
fingerprint sensor for an unidentified Apple product.


The proposed acquisition of AuthenTec will certainly
stiffen its battle with arch rival Samsung.


AuthenTec provides mobile security software licenses to
Samsung, and fingerprint sensor technology to Hewlett-Packard and Dell.


Samsung, being an arch rival of Apple could be affected
most by this deal, although Nokia and Motorola have also been consumers of
Authentec technology.


Samsung has recently inked a deal with AuthenTec to
include their virtual private network security in its new Android smartphones
and tablets. This contract might feel the heat of the proposed acquisition, as
Apple could ask for license fee post acquisition.


However, analysts believe that Samsung along with other
customers of AuthenTec technology will try to block this $356 million deal
through lawsuits. Samsung has selected AuthenTec’s fingerprint technology to
embed in its high-ends smartphones.


Danish Khan
[email protected]