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Apple's mobile fingerprint sensor Market


time:2018-11-05 10:14:41

Fingerprint sensor manufacturing was not the most exciting market - until Apple and Samsung started installing fingerprint sensors on their smartphones.

According to a recent research report entitled Fingerprint Sensors: Mobile Phones and Tablets in 2014, IHS, a market research company, predicts that by 2020, the global market for fingerprint sensors is expected to triple to nearly $1.7 billion. Most of the growth will come from Asia, especially China.

Last year, Apple Corp launched the first touch fingerprint sensor in iPhone 5S for the first time. So far, although some of Samsung's smartphones (such as Galaxy 5S) have used sliding fingerprint sensors, these sliding fingerprint sensors are not only inexpensive, but also considered less convenient than simple touch sensors. IHS speculates that Samsung will make adjustments in the coming year and use touch fingerprint sensors in its new mobile phones.


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IHS attributes much of the expected growth in the global fingerprint sensor market to Apple's adoption. Apple Corp has pioneered the application of fingerprint sensors to device authentication, website login and payment. Apple Pay, in particular, will push all the new payment technologies that will be launched to gradually adopt fingerprint recognition technology.

According to IHS estimates, the global market for fingerprint sensors for mobile phones and tablets was only $500 million in 2013. Currently, only three sensor Suppliers account for about 98% of the market, namely, AuthenTec, a fingerprint sensor manufacturer owned by Apple, Validity, a bioID recognition company owned by Synaptics, and Fingerprint Cards AB, a fingerprint verification technology company. However, there is no lack of "rising star" in this market. IHS also lists 14 other companies that are fighting for this growing market.

About 10 years ago, Japanese companies pioneered the use of fingerprint sensor technology in mobile phones. As early as 2003, Fujitsu began to use sliding fingerprint sensing technology in its mobile phones. Then, in 2010, Motorola installed fingerprint sensors on its Atrix phone, but quickly removed them because of performance problems. Before the Apple Corp, the market size of fingerprint sensors is very limited.

"To a large extent, it's a story of mediocrity and disappointment," Marwan Boustany, a senior analyst at IHS, said in an e-mail interview. "Fingerprint sensing technology is a popular function with mixed performance."

In the past decade, sliding fingerprint sensors have also appeared on laptops, but they have been ignored by most users because of their poor performance.

Current trends have driven sensors to become smaller and smaller, which has led to more sophisticated algorithms to extract more data in fewer areas of skin contact. Ultrasound sensors, which are currently in the development stage, are expected to be validated from capillary scans beneath the skin - a process that Sonavation, a Florida-based company, is working on. But overall, Buss Tanni said, fingerprint sensing technology will be more convenient and safe.

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