- Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
- There’s an arms race between Samsung and other phone makers to move away from physical fingerprint scanners to unlock your phone, to ones that can sit under the screen.
- Apple reportedly tried to put the feature into its $999/£999 iPhone X but didn’t have the tech ready in time, and is now committed to facial recognition.
- Now Chinese smartphone maker Vivo will be the first to show off an in-screen fingerprint display in its next phone, according to an analyst who’s seen a pre-production device.
- It’s likely the other big manufacturers will follow suit in 2018.
A Chinese phone maker will beat Apple to put a fingerprint reader inside the screen of its next phone.
Vivo will be the first smartphone manufacturer to drop a physical fingerprint scanner, normally used to unlock your phone, in favour of one embedded inside the screen.
That’s according to analyst Patrick Moorhead, who wrote in Forbes about his experiences testing a pre-production phone with the new tech from Vivo.
Apple was reportedly slated to add the same feature to the $999/£999 iPhone X, but didn’t have the technology ready in time. The firm recently suggested it’s committed to its facial recognition feature instead. Samsung is also rumoured to be working on adding the same feature.
Moorhead’s comments come after the touchpad maker Synaptics announced on Tuesday that it had made a fingerprint scanner that would work beneath a phone’s display, and that the tech was already in “mass production” with a top five smartphone maker. It didn’t say which, but media speculation pointed to Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo, rather than Vivo.
Vivo isn’t particularly well-known in Western markets, but is popular in India as the fourth-biggest smartphone maker and holds a similar position in China.
According to Moorhead, citing IDC statistics, Vivo actually ranks as a top-five manufacturer globally as a result.
He wrote: “On Tuesday night, I got the chance to use a pre-production unit from Vivo and test [the fingerprint scanner] in-action.
“In case you are unfamiliar with Vivo, the company is one of the top five smartphone vendors on the planet according to the IDC Q1 2017 Tracker. The company slipped one notch in Q2, but based on their India performance, is expected to re-take that spot.”