NFC chipset vendor Inside Secure has acquired Authentec’s embedded security solutions unit in a transaction valued at up to US$48 million.

The move has refuelled spectulation about Apple’s NFC intentions because Apple acquired Authentec earlier this year for US$356 million.

Selling off the security business indicates Apple was more interested in Authentec’s fingerprint and NFC solution when it acquired the firm in July this year.

Apple of course decided not to include NFC in the latest version of the iPhone but some observers suggest the company will return to the technology at some point in the future.