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FPC, Counterpoint Research reports project smartphone fingerprint growth

Fingerprint Cards (FPC) commissioned research group Kantar TNS to conduct a study on how consumers perceive biometrics, including which methods are being used, for what, and why.

The fingerprint is the number one biometric used today on smartphones. According to the study, fingerprint readers are only available on 42 percent of devices but 82 percent of respondents with access to the technology use fingerprint authentication.

“As a leader in biometrics, and in order to develop future solutions as well as help our customers and partners drive uptake, we feel it is important for us to understand the end consumers,” Fingerprints said about the reason why it conducted the research. “It is after all for them we are designing the biometric solutions of tomorrow. We wanted to identify the value of fingerprints and other biometrics (e.g. Iris) to the end consumer, the use cases and future opportunities, emotional and functional attitudes.”

The study found that the top drivers for fingerprints include ease of use (46 percent), security (44 percent), speed (28 percent), and coolness factor (24 percent).

Kantar TNS conducted the research in two phases where it surveyed 4,000 consumers around the world.

For the qualitative phase, Kantar TNS ran two focus groups in three markets (London, UK; Shanghai, China; Dehli, India) with eight consumers for a total of 48 consumers.

For the quantitative phase, the research firm conducted an online survey of 1,000 consumers in four markets (UK, China, India, USA) for total of 4,000 consumers.

In a separate release, Counterpoint Research published a study that projected that more than one billion fingerprint sensor enabled smartphones will be shipped in 2018.

The study found that the fingerprint sensor is likely to become the standard choice of smartphone OEMs in providing authentication, which is driven by a rapid surge in services such as digital payments, mobile banking and the commensurate increase.

The study found that global smartphone fingerprint sensor penetration has increased from three percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2015 to 58 percent in 2017 to a projected 71 percent in 2018.

“In CY 2018, almost three in four smartphones will be equipped with a fingerprint sensor,” Research Associate, Parv Sharma, said. “Not only the adoption rate by users but also the advancement in the sensor integration has been rising by leaps and bounds. With changing smartphone designs to include more edge to edge displays, ultrasonic and optical fingerprint sensor technology, which can be used in with wide range of materials and even under the display screen or under water, will drive the technology forward.

“The penetration of fingerprint sensors in the low-mid end smartphones will increase next year due to rising scale and declining cost of the fingerprint sensor, making it one of the essential components in a smartphone.”

The study found that Samsung was the market leader within fingerprint enabled smartphones, contributing to 12 percent market share, followed by Apple and Huawei with 11 percent and 8 percent respectively, during Q2 2017.

Apple and Xiaomi led adoption rate across the total portfolio shipments, followed by Huawei and OPPO, the study found.

Comparatively, Samsung, ZTE and LG had a relatively lower rate of fingerprint sensor integration across their total shipments.

“Chinese brands are already using fingerprint sensors as a differentiator, especially in emerging markets, to compete with local and international brands,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpart Research, said. “They are adding capabilities beyond just unlocking the phones or payments to include gestures to control the camera, gallery and other applications.”

Last month, Fingerprint Cards projected the company’s third quarter revenue to fall in the range of SEK 800 – 840 million (US$100.3 – 105.3 million), which is in line with the previous quarter.

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