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Smartphone growth to slow in 2018 as mobile biometrics mostly stay the course, TrendForce predicts


Growth in global smartphone sales will slow to 2.8 percent in 2018, and only Apple and Nokia have a clear path to growth over the year, TrendForce predicts.

Apple’s expansion in the Indian market and improved specifications for new iPhones will drive its market share up from 15.2 to 15.7 percent, while Nokia’s own new partnership in India will help it gain ground in the mid and low-end market, according to TrendForce. The firm also predicts that market leader Samsung’s share will fall from 21.9 percent to 20.3 percent.

Smartphone biometrics will continue to look the same in the first part of 2018, according to the predictions, with Apple focused on Face ID, Samsung on iris recognition, and other brands “mainly” using capacitive fingerprint sensors “due to existing technical barriers.” TrendForce says Android devices with under-display fingerprint sensors or 3D imaging will not reach mass production before the second half of the year.

Vivo, which recently launched an Android smartphone featuring an optical under-display fingerprint sensor, grew in production volume by 17 percent in 2017, but its production is expected to drop by 5 percent in 2018 as the Chinese market reaches saturation, which has led the company to actively attempt to develop overseas markets.

Bloomberg recently reported that Google may adopt an iPhone-style “notch” in forthcoming smartphones, which could enable it to integrate 3D facial recognition cameras.

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