Yes, it is almost a whole year out before the normal launch window for the next Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone which should be the Galaxy Note 9. That is not stopping the rumor mill from already getting cranked up regarding possible features of the new phone. Sources are reporting that Samsung has received sample components for review that would be part of a system to implement a fingerprint sensor as part of the phone display.
These reports come to us courtesy of Ming-Chi Kuo who is an analyst with KGI Securities. He has been studying the Asian electronics supply chain and has identified three companies that appear to be in the running to supply the technology and components for a display-based fingerprint sensor. One of those is Synaptics, but Kuo thinks they may be a dark horse since they are Apple’s supplier and they use a different technology that what Samsung probably prefers.
Companies that are definitely in the running include BeyondEyes and Samsung’s own in-house subsidiary Samsung LSI. There is some suspicion that Egis may have a shot as well since they are currently supplying the standard fingerprint sensors Samsung is using in their devices, although it is unclear whether they have any display-based technology to offer.
The promise of a display-based fingerprint sensor has been in the works for a while now and many analysts thought the race to first to market would come down to either the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or the Apple iPhone X. We now know neither one of those devices were able to implement the technology. Since Kuo is looking all the way ahead to the Galaxy Note 9 for this feature, one may figure that the Galaxy S9 devices to be released this spring will not have a display-based fingerprint sensor either.
In a bit of an interesting twist, Kuo thinks fingerprint based security, whether under a display or through a separate sensor, will eventually lose out and be replaced by “3D sensing” technology similar to the Face ID method that Apple is implementing. Manufacturers may finally figure out how to implement the fingerprint sensor in the display just in time to see the market shift to other biometric security methods.