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If it Weren’t for Apple, the Nexus 6 Might Have Shipped with a Fingerprint Sensor

January 26, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Google and Motorola came together to work on the Nexus 6 last year (which has just launched in China as the Moto X Pro) and with it came Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. It was an excellent way of of showing off what Lollipop could do, while also offering fans of gigantic phones a stock Android route. With its Snapdragon 805, Quad HD display and 3GB of RAM, the Nexus 6 is one serious piece of hardware and easily one of the most powerful Android devices on the market. There’s one feature however, that didn’t make the cut and that was a fingerprint sensor a la the iPhone and the Galaxy Note 4. It would appear that Apple and perhaps Samsung, are to blame for the lack of a fingerprint sensor in the Nexus 6.

Sitting down with the Telegraph, Dennis Woodside, former CEO of Motorola Mobility, Woodside basically comes right out and points the finger at Apple; “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.” Woodside was talking about the dimple on the rear of the device, and that it should have shipped with a fingerprint sensor. While Apple clearly didn’t set out to purchase all the fingerprint sensors in the land to snub Motorola, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Apple purchasing the best bits for themselves. Of course, if they have the money and scale to do so, then who can blame them? Back when the Touchpad was being developed by HP and former Palm employees it was rumored that many of the parts the team wanted to use had already been bought up by Apple for the iPad and the iPad 2.

Woodside goes on to say that it “wouldn’t have made that big a difference” and we’re inclined to agree with him. When testing the Galaxy S5, I did use the fingerprint sensor, but I never felt like it was a feature I needed to have on my next smartphone. Others will disagree of course, but as of right now there isn’t that much demand for a fingerprint sensor in today’s smartphones. Woodside has now moved to head Dropbox, and if you’re a heavy Dropbox user then there might be some good insight at the source link.