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KGI securities analyst says Apple’s Face ID turning Android developers away from under-screen fingerprints


KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has penned a new research note stating that news of Apple’s upcoming release of iPhone X with Face ID is shifting interest in the mobile industry from under-display fingerprint recognition to camera-based 3D sensing technologies for user authentication, according to a report by MacRumors.

According to the note, inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies have at least tripled since Apple announced the November release of the iPhone X, which will feature TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology instead of the traditional Touch ID fingerprint recognition.

“While under-display optical fingerprint recognition is only a spec upgrade from capacitive solutions, 3D sensing embodies a revolutionary user experience and warrants a premium on gross margin,” Kuo wrote in the note. “3D sensing not only enables facial recognition in security applications and allows users to create fun expressions like Apple’s Animoji, on a more important level, it is a key factor in the development of AR. We therefore believe brand vendors are willing to spend more for related components.”

Kuo also projected that the next two to three years will see shipments of 3D sensor-equipped Android devices exceed those with under-display fingerprint recognition by a factor of two, three or more.

He said this is largely due to 3D-sensing having wider compatibility with LCD screens than under-display optical fingerprint recognition, which is exclusive to OLED panels.

He also believes that Samsung’s continual dominance of the high-end OLED panel market over the next two to three years will result in shipments of under-display optical fingerprint recognition staying significantly capped.

The iPhone X with Face ID will be officially released on November 3.

Previously reported, Apple updated the security and privacy section of its website in which the company unveiled new details about how the Face ID facial recognition feature works.

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