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525 million smartphones with fingerprint sensors to ship in 2017: research


A total of 525 million smartphones with integrated fingerprint sensors will ship in 2017, up from 45.7 million in 2013.

That’s the major finding from the MEMS and Sensors Service at IHS Inc., in a recent market research report. Shipments this year will surge by a factor 10 from a volume of 4.5 million in 2012, the firm notes.

“Fingerprint scanning for security, authentication and other purposes has always been a conceptually attractive solution in smartphones,” Marwan Boustany, senior analyst, MEMS and Sensors, for HIS said. “However, cost, size, performance and reliability issues have prevented fingerprint sensors from attaining widespread adoption. With the introduction of the iPhone 5s, Apple has overcome these challenges and has offered a fingerprint sensor solution that delivers seamless functionality. Now that Apple has shown the way, competitors are in a race to enter the market with similar systems, propelling rapid growth in the coming years.”

The research firm also estimates that together with Apple, Samsung is likely to drive most of the volume in the smartphone market, leading to the half-billion unit shipments forecast in 2017.

“The increasing awareness of security and the high value of data in handsets—combined with the convenience of solutions and the ‘me-too’ effect among OEMs—will serve to promote the usage of fingerprint sensors in handsets, along with other biometric technologies,” Boustany said.

Reported previously, since Apple’s iPhone 5S launch several phones have hit the market with fingerprint sensors. Of the sensor manufacturers, Fingerprint Cards has seen particular success in this space with Android handsets and tablets.

Last week, Fujitsu launched six new mobile devices in Japan using swipe sensor technology from Fingerprint Cards. In particular, the company launched four separate Android smartphones and two Android tablets. 

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