Neither Apple or Samsung has released a smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, but it might be the latter that wins the race.
A new patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), via TechTastic, suggests Samsung is exploring the possibility of a smartphone with a fingerprint sensor embedded int he display. The patent, which is in no way representative of a final product, shows a typical rectangular device with a sensor toward the bottom of the screen.
According to the patent, Samsung's would-be device would show users an on-screen visual to indicate where users can place their finger. The company's implementation sounds similar in execution to the Vivo device we recently saw. In that instance, the software provided visual feedback to show the fingerprint sensor's location.
The rise of in-display fingerprint sensor is thanks to technology from Synaptics, which allows companies to place the sensor below a handset's OLED panel. In the Vivo prototype we tested earlier this year, the experience was very seamless and easy to use.
The thing about patents is they're not always implemented in products. Samsung could explore the option but ultimately transition to alternative biometrics, something Apple did last year with the iPhone X and Face ID.
Samsung is gearing up to introduce the Galaxy S9 at the end of February, which we already know will feature a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. If Samsung does eventually go with an in-display solution, the Note 9 would be the likeliest candidate.
Either that or Samsung's reported foldable Galaxy X.