Apple opened the floodgates into facial recognition when it announced Face ID for its upcoming iPhone X. In the process, Apple has also reshuffled the focus of Android manufacturers away from under-display fingerprint scanner technology, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In an investor note seen by MacRumors, Kuo states that while under-display fingerprint scanners is a new feature, it’s just a minor upgrade over the current available versions. 3D facial scanning, on the other hand, is a brand new technology that has the potential to truly resonate with customers. Kuo stated that inquiries into the technology from Android manufacturers has at least tripled since Apple announced Face ID.
“While under-display optical fingerprint recognition is only a spec upgrade from capacitive solutions, 3D sensing embodies a revolutionary user experience and warrants a premium on gross margin,” stated Kuo in the note.
Smartphone makers are always looking for the next big thing, and 3D facial recognition has a strong chance to be just that. Thus interest in the feature is continuing to grow among Android makers.
Kuo went on to say he expects more Android phones with 3D facial scanning than with under-display fingerprint scanners over the next two to three years. He also mentioned this will also be aided by Samsung’s monopoly on OLED displays, which cuts off the avenue to develop under-display fingerprint scanners.
You might recall reports Apple ran into a ton of issues while trying implement the feature into the iPhone X before scrapping the plans altogether. It just so happens Apple is using Samsung’s OLED displays.
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Android manufacturers can implement the tech into their flagships. Kuo previously stated that Apple has at least a two and half year lead before Android OEMs can provide the same user experience.