It appears Samsung fans won’t be seeing any flagship handsets with in-display fingerprint readers this year. The South Korean company has reportedly failed to secure the advanced technology for its Galaxy Note 8 successor, which is due for release in the second half.
Samsung is still busy preparing for the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus at this year’s Mobile World Congress 2018, but this didn’t stop industry sources from leaking information about the other flagship device that’s coming out later this year. Korean-language news site The Bell reported Tuesday that the Galaxy Note 9 won’t be the first Samsung offering to feature an in-display fingerprint reader.
Many speculated late last year that Apple’s biggest rival could introduce a flagship smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner this year after failing to do so with 2017’s flagships. The speculations were fuelled by the revelation that Samsung actually intended to debut an in-display fingerprint reader as part of the Galaxy S8, but certain things hampered the realization of such an ambitious goal.
Tech enthusiasts previously surmised that the Galaxy S9 could be the first Galaxy smartphone to come equipped with the advanced biometric system. Unfortunately, latest leaks and reports about the S9 also strongly suggest that it won’t have an in-display fingerprint reader, leading many fans to pass on the expectation to the Galaxy Note 9.
Unfortunately, The Bell’s supply chain sources confirmed earlier today that Samsung’s component suppliers are still manufacturing fingerprint sensors designed to be placed on the back of smartphones. The sources indicated that Samsung was the one who disclosed this information to its partners. The Note 9 will enter mass production in June, so the rear-mounted sensors for it are expected to be available by then.
SamMobile pointed out that while The Bell’s sources confirmed the absence of in-display fingerprint sensor technology from this year’s flagships, they did not mention if Samsung has dropped plans to perfect such biometric system. They also claimed that Samsung has started working with several companies to create optical fingerprint recognition technology that could be commercially released before 2019.
“There are advantages and disadvantages of both optical and capacitive type and ultrasonic type, so I do not think there is any technology that can be commercialized right now. Next year, I think it will be possible [for Samsung Electronics] to mount it,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying by The Bell.
Samsung’s Infinity Display is actually the reason why the company is finding it hard to incorporate in-display fingerprint sensors into its smartphones. There are reportedly technical difficulties that are making it impossible for Samsung to embed the in-display sensors into the curved displays.
While Samsung is struggling to complete its in-display fingerprint sensor, Chinese technology company Vivo has already announced the world’s first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint reader. The latter has apparently secured a deal to use Synaptics’ Clear ID sensors for its phones.
The successor to the Galaxy Note 8 will still not come with the highly anticipated in-display fingerprint scanner. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji