Samsung Suppliers Openly Doubt that Apple will be able to Deliver Touch ID Beneath the iPhone 8's Display
Apple introduced Touch ID in September 2013. Copycat Samsung was desperate to match Apple's new biometrics based solution, but in October 2013 Patently Apple reported that Samsung had failed in being able to deliver this feature for their then Galaxy Note 3. Samsung had blamed one of their suppliers for the failure to deliver a solution on time. With Apple now rumored to be moving Touch ID to the back of the display in at least one of their next iPhone models, the race was on for Samsung to copy Apple's alleged new feature. Apple's rumored feature began to surface close to a year ago. Yet news surfacing today notes that Samsung is once again blaming their technology partner for being unable deliver a similar Touch ID solution for the back of the display in time for the Galaxy S8. Patently Apple posted a report back in October noting that Samsung was going to eliminate the traditional home button and place a fingerprint scanner on the back of the display to match Apple's feature for iPhone 8.
Today a new Korean tech report notes that a source close to the matter noted that Samsung had poured resources into Synaptics' fledgling technology last year but the results have been nothing but frustrating.
With Samsung's S8 "production imminent, the company had to decide to relocate the fingerprint scanning from the home button to the back of the device at the last minute."
A larger screen that covers almost the entire front body is a key feature for the S8 and recently leaked photos gave us a peek at what it could look like. As soon as Samsung had heard about the iPhone rumor of last year, "Samsung had made all-out efforts to embed a fingerprint scanner under the display to allow users to unlock the phone by placing their finger on the screen, not the physical home button. But the efforts went down the drain after California-based Synaptics failed to develop the technology on time. As the result, the home button is widely expected to be relocated to the back next to the rear-facing camera lens."
In 2013, Samsung blamed U.S. partner "Validity" for not delivering a fingerprint ID module for the home button.When Samsung has a success, it's their success. When they fail to deliver a feature, it's always their partners that failed.
The Korean report stated that the rear fingerprint scanner is a letdown for Samsung fans who have longed for the first-ever smartphone with on-screen fingerprint scanning. Some of them are calling it "technological regression" considering that a number of its smaller rivals have already launched their larger-screen phone with a fingerprint scanner on the back of their smartphones.
With Apple introducing this feature first on the iPhone 8 means that they could "steal the show from Samsung," according to the report that also noted that "The iPhone maker is said to be testing the waters to deploy the on-screen fingerprint scanner as well as a 3-D camera for facial recognition."
Patently Apple posted a report last week titled "Samsung Shift's away from Iris Scanning Security alone to full Facial Recognition to get ahead of Apple's next iPhone." In that report a Samsung Executive admitted to a Korean publication that "We decided to have Galaxy S8 mounted with the face recognition function since iris recognition is limited in terms of accuracy and speed of recognition. If face recognition is added, it would contribute to unlocking the smartphone within 0.01 second."
The report further noted that the rumor that Apple will be adding Touch ID to the next iPhone is being met with skepticism by Korean display tech firms.
More specifically, one official from a Korean display firm noted that "It is still extremely difficult to develop transparent sensors and components to be used for an all-screen smartphone," expressing skepticism about Apple's pending adoption.
The official added that "If those technologies are fully developed, it would be a big leap forward within the smartphone industry."
The Korean report interestingly pointed out that "Currently, some biometric sensor and module makers such as China's Goodix and South Korea's CrucialTec are working on on-screen fingerprint readers. The two firms demonstrated their respective technologies during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona in February but no timeline was revealed for the immediate commercialization."
The reason that it's an interesting point is that as early as last summer CrucialTec was boasting that they had already supplied 'behind the display' fingerprint scanning modules to some of their customers. Once the rumor hit the net that Apple would likely offer this feature for their next iPhone, these competitors jumped the gun to say that they too already had a solution.
Obviously by today's Korean report admission that CrucialTec was at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month saying that he technology wasn't ready yet, proves that CrucialTec's announcement last year was all marketing smoke and mirrors which hurts any reputation that they may have had.
In the end, the copycat machine known as Samsung has once again failed in their race to beat Apple to market with a new high-end smartphone feature. They failed back in 2013 to deliver fingerprint ID in the home button ahead of Apple and it now appears that they're going to fail again in beating Apple to market with fingerprint ID beneath the display.
Better yet, Apple's competitors are baffled at how Apple intends to pull this feature off. They're openly doubting that Apple will actually be able to deliver this feature because they're stumped. They're all but saying, how could a U.S. company be smarter than us? Their arrogance reeks.
If Apple delivers their new Touch ID solution as rumored for the iPhone 8 later this year, then they will have once again beaten Samsung to market with a cool new feature, but more importantly, they'll be slamming a pie into the faces of those Korean tech firms that think Apple doesn't have what it takes to put this off.
Now Apple fans will have even more fun watching the iPhone event later this year. If Apple indeed delivers Touch ID beneath their shiny new OLED displays as expected, then we'll be able to not only applaud Apple's engineers for this advancement but also heartily laugh at both Samsung and their Korean tech partners for failing to beat Apple to market as they had so hoped to accomplish.
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