The fingerprint sensor is likely to become the standard choice for smartphone OEMs to provide for authentication, while more than one billion fingerprint sensor-enabled smartphones will be shipped in 2018 according to the new study from Counterpoint.
The report said that this is driven by a rapid rise in services such as digital payments, mobile banking and the commensurate increase in the need to be able to authenticate the user securely.
Neil Shah, Research Director of Counterpoint Research sais that, " Samsung was the market leader within fingerprint-enabled smartphones, contributing to 12 percent market share, followed by Apple and Huawei with 11 percent and 8 percent respectively, during Q2 2017 and in terms of adoption across the total portfolio shipments, Apple and Xiaomi led, followed by Huawei and OPPO.
However, Samsung, ZTE, and LG lagged their rivals with a relatively lower rate of fingerprint sensor integration across their total shipments. Chinese brands are already using fingerprint sensors as a differentiator, especially in emerging markets, to compete with local and international brands. They are adding capabilities beyond just unlocking the phones or payments to include gestures to control the camera, gallery and other applications."
Shah further added, "Reliability of the fingerprint sensor is the major issue, as most of the capacitive fingerprint sensors can be easily spoofed. However, with the latest fingerprint sensors that have live finger detection, or employ ultrasonic fingerprint sensing technology to create a 3D image of the fingerprints, it is potentially more secure and should be the next factor of differentiation for OEMs."
Similarly, Associate director Tarun Pathak, Counterpoint says, "There is an increasing pressure on fingerprint suppliers to match the growing demand of sensors, match the cost expectations to remain competitive and at the same time innovating. Suppliers like Fingerprints, Synaptics & Goodix currently contribute to over half of the total smartphone fingerprint sensors. However, players such as Qualcomm, eGIS, and Silead are positioned to grow with more design wins in coming quarters."
Pathak, further highlighting that "The placement and the type of the fingerprint sensor plays a major role in the overall design of the smartphone. The suppliers have their work cut out and will be responsible for many OEM flagship design decisions. Watch out for under the glass and in-display designs in the next wave of flagship launches. Furthermore, customizing the smartphone sensor with a smart home button that can provide gesture support and over the top features like heart rate monitoring can also make it a more versatile sensor."