Even though Apple was not the first company to introduce a smartphone with fingerprint scanner (Motorola installed one on the Atrix 4G in 2011), the fingerprint scanners suddenly became cool after the iPhone 5S got one. In order to compete with Apple, at least two new Android OMEs will introduce fingerprint scanners on their devices in 2014.
A report coming from DigiTimes claims that the fingerprint module suppliers are “likely to fall short of demand” in the first half of 2014 after Samsung and LG will include fingerprint scanners in their flagship smartphones. As you probably know, after Apple included a fingerprint module on the iPhone 5S, the folks at HTC mounted one on the back of their One Max phablet.
Even though DigiTimes is not the most accurate source of tech-related reports, it seems that Samsung and LG has chosen Validity and Swedish Fingerprint Cards to supply the fingerprint scanners for their high-end smartphones.
Even though the Taiwanese report doesn’t specifically name the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G3 by their names, these two devices will most likely be the first Samsung and LG phones to arrive with fingerprint scanning technology. In early December, Reuters noted that at least two Samsung 2014 high-end devices would come with such sensors, so the DigiTimes report might be accurate after all.
Anyway, Samsung and LG will not be the only phone makers that will include fingerprint sensors on their high-end smartphones. We are pretty sure that the HTC One follow up will get one as well, while the rumor mill speculates that the Chinese companies are also planning to include such sensors on their high-end devices. It’s not clear what Chinese companies and what handsets will pack such functionality, but we are probably talking about devices that retail for over $500 on the Chinese market.
The Taiwanese publication also notes that even though the companies’ interest in fingerprint scanning technology has increased, the number of sensor suppliers is rather limited. For what it’s worth, Apple builds its own fingerprint modules, after the Cupertino-based company acquired AuthenTec in 2012 for $356 million.