Android original equipment manufacturers will seek to emulate the Face ID technology Apple is debuting alongside its iPhone X, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities wrote in his latest research note. Kuo believes that the Cupertino, California-based company will once again set industry trends and force other phone makers around the world to follow suit in order to replicate what's expected to be a highly popular feature of the most powerful iOS smartphone to date. As a direct consequence of that turn of events, OEMs may redirect some of the resources they're currently committing to on-screen fingerprint recognition sensors to full-fledged biometric authentication solutions, the note suggests.
Ultimately, the entirety of the smartphone industry will be seeking to transition to Face ID-like solutions in the near future and many tech giants might see such technologies as more important than integrating fingerprint readers into display panels seeing how the latter is more of an evolution of an existing commercial system than a standalone innovation, Kuo said. The Face ID service powered by Apple's TrueDepth camera already prompted additional interest since the company announced the iPhone X last month, the researcher claims, adding that Android OEMs sent three times more inquiries related to such solutions than they did before the new iOS flagship was unveiled. The iPhone X will be the only device with support for such a system once it's released next month and many of the firm's rivals will be seeking to emulate it as quickly as possible, the note indicates. The technology itself has important implications for mobile security and ease of use, as well as augmented reality applications and related advancements that go much further beyond entertaining but non-essential features like Animoji, Kuo suggested.
The commercially most viable Face ID-like technology that's presently available to Android OEMs is made by Qualcomm and Himax but the industry may not be able to accurately replicate Apple's achievement for up to two and a half years, according to the same source. In the short term, shipments of devices with some form of biometric authentication are likely to surpass those with on-screen fingerprint readers until at least 2019, the researcher believes, adding that embedded sensors reliant on OLED panels are likely to be in short supply in the coming years due to Samsung's dominance in the premium segment of this market. As part of the same report, Kuo predicted that the Galaxy Note 9 will be the first Samsung-made device to commercialize an on-screen fingerprint scanner next year.