In short: Samsung finalized the list of suppliers of in-screen fingerprint readers planned to be integrated into the Galaxy S10 lineup of Android flagships, South Korean ETNews reports, citing industry sources. Some of the orders will be sourced from Chinese O-film Tech, whereas others will be supplied by Taiwanese touch display technology company GIS, insiders claim. The modules will be produced based on Qualcomm’s designs of third-generation under-display scanners using ultrasonic readings, as per the same report. The exact ratio of orders Samsung placed with O-film and GIS is unknown, though both companies are expected to start supplying the Seoul-based technology juggernaut with ultrasonic modules by the end of the year.
Background: Samsung has been experimenting with in-screen fingerprint readers for numerous years now, having first considered implementing them into the Galaxy S8 lineup released in early 2017. The company delayed its plans on several occasions due to a number of issues, including problems with manufacturing yield rates and performance. Earlier this year, DJ Koh, the CEO of Samsung‘s mobile division, said the firm won’t commercialize under-display fingerprint sensors until it’s convinced it can deliver performance comparable to that of traditional scanners. Besides the Galaxy S10, Samsung’s foldable Galaxy F may also be equipped with an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, according to recent rumors. Samsung may not be the first company to launch a handset equipped with such a solution as Huawei will possibly beat it to the punch with the Mate 20 lineup scheduled to be announced in mid-October, whereas the Galaxy S10 series isn’t expected to debut before late February of 2019.
The impact: Unlike optical sensors used by devices such as the Vivo X21 UD and Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design, ultrasonic sensors can operate beneath significantly thicker glass layers and aren’t affected by wet fingertips, meaning their commercialization should improve the overall authentication experience of smartphone users and allow device manufacturers to deliver cleaner product designs without compromising functionality.