Apple may have opted for Face ID over in-display Touch ID for the iPhone X, but plenty of lower cost handset makers aren’t in a position to use facial recognition in their handsets — and they’re embracing in-display fingerprint sensors as a result.
According to a new report, global shipments of in-display fingerprint sensors are expected to top 42 million units in 2018. And that number will more than double in 2019.
The sensors are divided into both optical and ultrasonic models. Of these, optical sensors are proving to be the more popular, although Korea-based smartphones are enthusiastic about the ultrasonic sensors.
By next year, the report suggests that in-display fingerprint sensors will be a standard “for medium- to high-end smartphones.” Shipments are likely to reach more than 100 million units. This also means that OLED displays will become more widespread, since in-display fingerprint sensors require OLED screens.
The technology Apple never delivered
The popularity of in-display fingerprint sensors makes sense for some manufacturers, even if Apple decided against it. They are cheaper than the depth-sensing tech needed for Face ID, while still possessing a good amount of “wow” factor. It also means not having to compete with Apple for components.
Despite not shipping an iPhone with in-display Touch ID, Apple has nonetheless been granted patents for smartphone displays capable of detecting a fingerprint.