Apple and Samsung Hit a Snag with Embedded Fingerprint Sensor

After the detrimental Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung is hoping the upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 lineup can revive its smartphone business. Meanwhile, rival Apple is prepared to launch its first OLED iPhone in September. Analysts are now saying the S8 may lose the battle against the next iPhone due to a lack of eye-catching selling points.
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Samsung will officially unveil Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in New York City on March 29, as previously reported. Though the specs and leaked details have generated much attention, latest reports suggest the new models may not feature the highly anticipated full-screen, larger-than-ever display with fingerprint senor built in.
The Seoul-based media The Investor says Samsung had no choice but to ditch the original plan as it ran out of time. Instead, the fingerprint scanner will be relocated on the back of the device, next to the camera sensor.
In fact, Samsung had worked closely with its manufacturing partner Synaptics, who introduced an optical-based fingerprint sensor in 2016, but were unable to implement the technology in its new smartphones.
That said, the 5.8-inch S8 and the 6.2-inch S8 Plus are rumored to ship with 3D-curved glass screen, IR-LED transmitter and receiver for iris recognition, and a facial recognition technology, just to name a few.
However, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, a noted Apple analyst, said in his latest investor note that due to a lack of attractive features, demand for the Galaxy S8 lineup is expected to be weaker than its predecessor, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Thus, the OLED iPhone could be a “bigger draw for consumers” in 2017.
This does not mean that Apple will see no obstacle in releasing its new iPhone. According to US financial media Barron’s, there may be delays in the production of the new device and the main drag is OLED display production. This is because Apple is also facing challenge to develop the rumored touch ID sensor embedded in the screen. The report estimates production would be very slow in the beginning as OLED panel production and driver IC capacity lag behind.
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