iPhone 5 rumors: Apple to buy fingerprint security firm AuthenTec for $356 million

According to market watchers, this move could be motivated by Apple’s desire to improve security for mobile payment systems that are likely to be integrated in the future iPhones or iPads.

The Wall Street Journal reports that AuthenTec said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it “cannot comment on Apple’s intentions” for the acquisition.

AuthenTec is known for designing fingerprint sensors and other security products for mobile devices.

The techniques developed by company could help make the iPhone and iPad more secure.

According to AppleInsider, in a note to investors Friday, ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall said that such a security technology could be of use for a potential iPhone wallet application based on NFC.

Cupertino has long been rumored to be planning to integrate the near-field communication technology into the next-gen iPhone.