July 24, 2013 -
Reports have emerged out of Korea today, which suggest that both Apple and Samsung continue to face separate but similar battles in the fight to be the first to stick a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone.
According to etnews.com, Samsung may shelve its plans for a Galaxy fingerprint sensor due to a low production yield of sensor chips and Apple continues to struggle with functionality. It has been reported that Samsung is working with Validity Sensors for its devices.
The Nostradamus of Apple product launch predictions, Ming Kuo also recently backed off some previous claims that the new iPhone would include a fingerprint sensor. According to AppleInsider, the latest research note from Kuo didn’t even mention a fingerprint sensor for the “iPhone 5S.”
Here’s what we know so far:
Some mysterious images were recently found in Samsung GS3 firmware files which looked like a graphical presentation of a vague fingerprint security system.
A little while later, the USPTO published Samsung’s patent application for a fingerprint sensor integration, seemingly confirming the biometric system.
Apple has long been believed to be working on including a fingerprint sensor in its iPhone. In 2012, Apple purchased AuthenTec for approximately US$356 million. AuthenTec specializes in strong fingerprint-based security, ideal for mobile devices.
Later in the year, it was reported that AuthenTec would stop selling fingerprint technology to any of Apple’s competitors, starting in 2013. This included a significant list of existing customers such as Samsung, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.
As we reported in March, leaked photos purporting to show components from the new iPhone cast doubt on a fingerprint sensor embedded in the device’s home button. According to AppleInsider, Kuo’s best guess is that a fingerprint sensor would be embedded there.
Though the Korean reports of Apple’s difficulty with its fingerprint sensor are new, this isn’t the first time it’s been suggested the tech giant is battling with functionality or supply.
Reported previously in April, a supply chain source in Taiwan told Reuters that Apple was struggling to find a coating material that did not interfere with the fingerprint sensor, and that it was holding up the entire production process.