Gartner to phone manufacturers: Don’t follow Apple

November 13, 2013 - 

Gartner has warned smartphone manufacturers not to follow’s Apple example of embedding fingerprint sensors, citing privacy and perception issues.

Reported in V3, a research note from Gartner argues that “companies should evaluate biometric controls but be sensitive to the privacy concerns that have been voiced in response to the Touch ID technology.”

In addition, says the note viewed by V3, “be aware that most biometric controls have not been reliable, and if the technology does not work well, consumers will easily become annoyed with the feature and stop using it.”

I think Gartner is right, and this is something we’ve been saying at BiometricUpdate for quite some time about the new iPhone 5S. The adaptive sensor technology could lend itself to authentication difficulties as consumer first start using the device. For those in the know, this is a normal process, but for the average consumer, there’s an expectation that the device will work at its full capacity out of the box.

In addition, there is a perception of security with biometrics and this may not entirely be the case with the new Apple phone. It’s hard to say what really went on in Apple design meetings, but the TouchID scanner is more or less a convenience feature in my opinion.

Apple has also been heavily criticized for the proprietary nature of this new Touch ID sensor – not to mention all of the company’s other devices —  which can severely affect interoperability as well as adoption of biometrics.

Gartner seems to agree that Apple’s propriety is a problem, and according to the V3 report, also takes a stab at Apple’s decision not to include NFC technology into its phone, instead developing its own “AirDrop” technology to do exactly what NFC already does.

“This has the potential to negatively impact the chances of continued success for NFC in the market, with Apple representing a significant percentage of the high-end phone market,” V3 reports the Gartner report to have said. “This also has potential implications for NFC payment technologies.”

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj