Samsung’s recently announced Galaxy S9 and S9+ may have missed the under-screen fingerprint train, but many had hoped that the Galaxy Note 9 would bring the feature to the mainstream for the first time.
However, according to KGI Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that is not going to happen. Having previously predicted that Samsung would indeed use the Galaxy Note 9 as the launch for its own under-screen fingerprint solution, Kuo now instead believes that Samsung will cancel the feature due to technical failures.
The folks over at MacRumors were able to get their hands on a research note, released by KGI, in which it is suggested that the technical failures of Samsung’s hardware partners are the reason for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 not carrying a feature that, frankly, many of us are very excited about.
While we previously predicted that Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy Note 9, due out in 3Q18, will come equipped with an under-display fingerprint recognition function, we now believe Samsung will cancel this feature on Note 9 because both ultrasonic (provided by Qualcomm) and optical (provided by Samsung LSI, Goodix, Egis, and Synaptics) solutions cannot meet Samsung’s technical requirements.
While there are already devices out there that have under-screen fingerprint sensors, Kuo’s understanding is that current technology struggles when a screen protector is applied to a device, something that will prove troublesome for the millions of people who like to keep their displays as pristine as possible. Samsung was originally thought to be set to offer the technology in the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, although a decision to ditch it was also blamed on technical difficulties.
Despite this, KGI still believes that such fingerprint sensing displays will still prove popular, although not until next year at the earliest.
We recognize that under-display fingerprint recognition is key for full-screen designs, and we don’t think that facial recognition can fully replace fingerprint recognition. For these reasons, we remain positive on this technology over the long term. Also, as under-display fingerprint recognition module has a unit price 4-6 times that of capacitive fingerprint recognition module (or higher), we think that once the former module goes into mass production, the contribution to suppliers’ sales and profits will be significant.
Apple is unlikely to offer a similar feature in the iPhone, having gone all-in on facial recognition with Face ID – a technology that Apple says is more secure than anything a fingerprint sensor can offer.
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