Global in-screen fingerprint sensor (FoD) shipments nearly increased nearly eightfold in 2019, according to Omdia, a technology market research firm. Omdia said 228.3 million FoD sensors were shipped in 2019, up 674 percent from 29.5 million in 2018. Omdia said shipments of FoD are expected to continue to rise at a huge rate in 2020 to more than 400 million as FoD sensors have reached the sweet point of market pricing.
When Apple launched face ID on the iPhone X in 2017, it stopped using the capacitive Touch ID sensor in its flagship iPhone and abandoned the Home key. Since then, Apple has been pushing for Face ID, adding Face ID to every flagship iPhone since then, and even a Face ID in the iPad Pro. At the same time, most other smartphone brands use in-screen fingerprint scanners as an advanced biometric technology to replace capacitive fingerprint chips. According to Omdia, more than 70 smartphones have been integrated with FoD in 2019.
Although Apple has decided to abandon the technology in favor of face recognition, rumours continue that the company intends to use an off-screen fingerprint scanner in mobile devices. Just last month, we heard a report that Apple might adopt the technology on the 2021 iPhone, and an anonymous leaker with a fairly accurate record said the company was developing a new iPad Air with off-screen fingerprint recognition.
The rumors are also in line with last year’s statements by Guo Mingyu, Barclays analysts, Bloomberg and others that they expect Apple to release an in-screen fingerprint-certified iPhone in 2020 or 2021. Apple has explored a variety of in-screen fingerprint scanner solutions in the past, including fingerprint-sensing MicrOLED displays, but has yet to develop on-screen fingerprint technology for consumer devices. Meanwhile, Touch ID has found new life on Apple’s MacBook keyboard and the latest generation of iPhone SE.
Apple is rumoured to be working to gradually scale back the groove size of the TrueDepth sensor, which drives the Face ID feature and, most likely, a biometric authentication system that combines facial and finger sensing technology to give future full-screen devices unparalleled mobile security.