Samsung’s next-generation Note may come with a key feature that Apple reportedly had to drop from its iPhone X: an optical fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the cover glass.
The Galaxy maker is apparently looking to use a technology that allows the OLED screen to double as a light source for the sensor, which results in better battery life.
According to a report that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients on Saturday, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider, Galaxy Note 9 may have an “under-display optical fingerprint” sensor when it’s released in the second half of 2018.
Samsung could buy the part that enables this sensor from three different suppliers: Synaptics, Korean firm BeyondEyes and its own subsidiary Samsung LSI.
“In our latest analysis of recent under-display optical fingerprint recognition industry developments, we see Korean suppliers and Synaptics as having better visibility among suppliers,” reads the note.
We can rule out Synaptics since they are an Apple supplier. BeyondEyes and Samsung LSI have already shipped part samples to Samsung, according to the note.
Using an in-screen fingerprint sensor could be Samsung’s stop-gap until it can match iPhone X’s Face ID. “With regard to the latest biometrics technologies, however, we favor the 3D-sensing segment,” the analyst wrote.
Kuo previously estimated that Apple may have an 18 to 30-month advantage over Android vendors in terms of Face ID and related depth-sensing camera sensors.