The demand for adding fingerprint sensors to smartphones has been ever-increasing and keeping up with the trend, fingerprint scanner-capable smartphone shipments are estimated to cross a billion units in 2018.
Samsung was the market leader in fingerprint-enabled smartphones -- contributing 12 per cent market share, followed by Apple and Huawei with 11 per cent and 8 per cent share, respectively, in the second quarter of 2017, market research firm Counterpoint Research said on Friday.
The fingerprint feature is likely to become the standard choice for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to provide authentication access, driven by a rapid rise in services like digital payments and mobile banking.
"In terms of adoption across the total portfolio shipments, Apple and Xiaomi led, followed by Huawei and OPPO," said Neil Shah, Research Director of Counterpoint Research. "Samsung, ZTE and LG lagged their rivals with a relatively lower rate of integration across their total shipments," Shah added.
Chinese smartphone brands are already using fingerprint sensors as a differentiator especially in emerging markets -- to compete with local and international handset makers.
The reliability of fingerprint sensors has been a major issue, as most of the capacitive fingerprint sensors can be easily spoofed. However, the latest ones either have live finger detection or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing technology to create a 3D image of the fingerprints which is more secure, the research firm noted.
Apart from just unlocking the phones or making payments, fingerprint sensors are adding capabilities to control the camera, gallery and other applications.