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Apple acquisition of AuthenTec makes a lot of sense

Customers test new IPad, on April 4, 201

JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Customers test the IPad. Apple devices may soon be able to recognize these fingers by their fingerprints.

Apple has a huge hoard of cash: $117 billion at last count. It's going to pay out a dividend to share some of the wealth with stockholders, but it's also going to make acquisitions. Except that Apple doesn't really have a long track record of making acquisitions. It's been content to innovate and grow on its own, rather than to go out shopping for innovation and growth.

But the announcement today that it will buy AuthenTec, a company that's focused on making mobile devices more secure, for $356 million should please Apple's investors and fans — as well as future customers. AuthenTec has developed a fingerprint-recognition technology that sounds like it maps perfectly to the touchscreen age. You use your fingers to manage the interface on iPhones and iPads, so it why shouldn't Apple's mobile security protocols be finger(print) based, as well?

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