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Ex-Motorola CEO: Apple scuppered Google's Nexus 6 fingerprint sensor plans

Ex-Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside has revealed the Nexus 6 originally had a fingerprint sensor on the rear indent, but the company had to cancel plans after the hottest provider was taken off the market.

In 2012, Apple acquired AuthenTec for £237 million, despite Motorola, Samsung and other manufacturers eyeing up partnerships with the company.

What looked like a smart move from a technical point of view might have been a brilliant move from an economic and feature point of view in 2015, now we know AuthenTec was way ahead of the competition in terms of fingerprint technology.

Apple's acquisition not only took AuthenTec off the market, it allowed Apple to implement the best fingerprint technology into Touch ID, far better than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Max that both tried a fingerprint sensor.

Even the second place in the fingerprint sensor business was nowhere near as talented as AuthenTec when it came to patents, hardware and software.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside said: "The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier.

"So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren't there yet."

He followed up by saying it "wouldn't have made that big a difference," even though the acquisition of AuthenTec made a big difference to the amount of fingerprint sensors in 2014.

Woodside left Motorola Mobility in late 2014 after Google sold the company to Lenovo for £1.94 billion.

He now runs the operation over at Dropbox, the popular cloud storage provider that recently acquired productivity service CloudOn.