Qualcomm showcased its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor Sense ID at last year’s CES expo. This fingerprint sensor technology is available on Xiaomi’s Mi 5s and the Mi Note 2. An improved version of the technology was witnessed at MWC Shanghai 2017, where Vivo demonstrated the under-display fingerprint technology on one of its prototype smartphones. This technology supports OLED panels, hinting at the possibility of the Apple iPhone 8 sporting the Touch ID sensor underneath its display. However reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says that Qualcomm isn’t ready to begin production of this technology.
Kuo says that Qualcomm’s under-display fingerprint sensor technology has improved but it still isn’t perfect. Kuo explains that the technology Vivo demonstrated was the latest 2.1 version, and comparatively the scan-through has improved and it can even differentiate between real and artificial fingers. He however highlights that this technology lacks in areas of speed and response. The scan-through isn’t perfected either and can be improved even more, 9to5mac reports.
In addition to this, Kuo says that Qualcomm would be facing mass production issues of its under-display fingerprint sensor as the requirements aren’t available on majority of the smartphones. This technology requires a thin cover glass, and flexible OLED panels which aren’t available on many smartphones in the industry. Even for Vivo’s prototype smartphone, Kuo said that there isn’t any timeline of its mass production. Vivo, at the event had however said that this technology will be in production soon. ALSO READ: Vivo under-display fingerprint scanner: Here’s how the technology works
Whether or not this would affect Apple’s plans of embedding the Touch ID sensor underneath its OLED display is still unknown. While Samsung is said to be supplying OLED panels for the iPhone 8, it’s still not confirmed if Apple is relying on Qualcomm for the Touch ID sensor or working on the technology on its own. It has been reported multiple times that Apple is facing difficulties with both the OLED panels and the new Touch ID sensor, and it may seem unlikely for this technology to commercialize this year. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 8 display embedded Touch ID sensor causing delays: Reports