According to a news report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes, a squeeze on fingerprint modules for smartphones is expected to occur during the first half of 2014. At least part of the reason for this is the expectation that Samsung is moving forward with plans to adopt fingerprint scanners from manufacturer Validity for their upcoming high-end models. This could potentially start with the Samsung Galaxy S5 expected to be released in the next few months. Given Samsung’s market success, the addition of fingerprint scanners to their devices will consume much of the supply chain given how many devices they produce and sell. Validity is the same manufacturer that supplied HTC with modules for the HTC One Max introduced last year.
Samsung is not the only company cited by DigiTimes as working on the inclusion of fingerprint scanners. LG is reported to be working on a similar strategy for their high-end phones, possibly the LG G3. LG appears to be sourcing their modules from FingerPrint Cards out of Sweden. Several Chinese manufacturers are also working on adding similar features to their phones, further putting the squeeze on module manufacturers. Outside of Android-based devices, Apple acquired AuthenTec which would appear to have taken then out of the supply loop.
For Taiwan-based companies, this does represent an opportunity though if they can ramp up to meet some of the expected demand.