The fingerprint reader widely rumored before the launch of the Nexus 6 was indeed part of the plan, confirmed former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside. Speaking to the Telegraph, Woodside said that the dimple on the back of the handset was originally intended to be a fingerprint reader, but they were stymied by Apple’s purchase of biometrics company AuthenTec back in 2012.
Indeed, the 6-inch Nexus 6, he can now admit, was stymied by just one of those big players. A dimple on the back that helps users hold the device should, in fact, have been rather more sophisticated. “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,” says Woodside.
It’s believed a fingerprint reader was included in internal prototypes, before it was abandoned. Woodside’s comments provide the explanation, Motorola originally intending to buy or license the sensor from AuthenTec. Motorola of course pioneered the smartphone fingerprint reader with the “Atrix” in 2012.