Former Motorola CEO blames Apple for a missing Nexus 6 feature
The Nexus 6 may offer a pretty all-around respectable hardware experience, but could it have been even better? It wasn’t long after the phone launched that we found ourselves revisiting some earlier rumors, ones that looked into the possibility of getting a fingerprint scanner. Sure enough, the software support for such a scanner was there, only to be pulled a couple months before launch. So what went wrong? Former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside may have left the company coming up on a year ago by now, but he has a little insight to share about this whole fingerprint angle for the Nexus 6.
Woodside confirmed that the Nexus 6 was indeed supposed to have a fingerprint scanner, one that would live in the dimple on the phone’s back. Only problem, according to Woodside, was that “Apple bought the best supplier,” leaving everyone else with access to second-rate fingerprint scanning hardware.
Presumably, the supplier Woodside mentions is AuthenTec, but Apple purchased that company all the way back in 2012. The pipeline on in-development hardware may be lengthy, but that sounds a bit excessive, especially with that source code evidence suggesting that the fingerprint scanner was dropped only shortly before the Nexus 6’s launch. Maybe Motorola attempted to make things work with another supplier’s scanners, and it took a while to realize that they just weren’t going to be good enough? That may be more along the lines of what Woodside meant. In any case, he suggests that ultimately a scanner “wouldn’t have made that big a difference” for the Nexus 6, and we’re inclined to agree.