Report says fingerprint sensors market facing a major disruption

The number of traditional standalone fingerprint sensors shipped has peaked, as in-display sensors and 3D facial recognition replace them, according to research by IHS Markit.

The “Fingerprint Sensors Overview Report” by Principle Analyst, LEDs and Lighting, Jamie Fox, predicts that Apple will almost entirely stop integrating fingerprint sensors in its smartphones by 2021, leaving a 200 million sensor per year gap in the market, eeNews Europe reports.

Fox says the introduction of FaceID in Apple’s iPhone X is a major market disruption, but the shift to replace or compliment fingerprint sensors with iris or facial recognition is just part of the shakeup IHS anticipates in the smartphone market. Capacitive sensors will be largely replaced in the next several years by ultrasonic and optical sensors which can capture images through the display glass.

The report also predicts that “in-display” sensors will be integrated with the display itself, rather than placed under it, in the next two to three years.

New competitors have entered the market and gained share in 2016 and 2017, challenging the past market dominance of Synaptics and Fingerprint Cards, the report says. The largest among these challengers is Goodix, which challenged Fingerprint Cards for market lead last year, while Silead and Egistec gained share.

Shipments of fingerprint sensors for smartphones are expected to continue growing through 2021, but more slowly than in 2015 and 2016, and both revenues and profits are projected to decline through 2021 as competition drives sensor prices down.

Different applications for fingerprint sensors are expected to grow more rapidly, including payment cards, as previously reported.

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