Biometric blues: Samsung and Apple run into fingerprint scanner manufacturing issues

July 24, 2013
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    Apple and Samsung have been experiencing difficulty manufacturing fingerprint scanners on a mass scale.
    (Image credit: Shutterstock)

    (Image credit: Shutterstock)

    Remember rumors, stemming mostly from recent patent filings and the purchase of biometric company AuthenTec, of an iPhone with built-in fingerprint recognition? Samsung, too, seemed poised to include a fingerprint reader in the company’s next Galaxy phone. Well, it turns out there’s a reason those rumblings haven’t quite panned out yet: both companies have been experiencing difficulty manufacturing fingerprint scanners.

    Reportedly, both Apple and Samsung have been thus far unable to achieve acceptable yield; the companies can’t produce the number of biometric chips they need to satisfy anticipated demand. According to a report from Korea-based news outlet ETNews, Samsung “decided to drop the fingerprint recognition function at the final development stage of Galaxy Note 3” because of low sensor supply. The report further claims that Apple may go so far as to delay the iPhone 5S launch because of issues with fingerprint recognition components.

    The primary cause of the supply issue seems to be the scale at which Apple and Samsung plan to produce the sensor for incorporation into future products. Though fingerprint scanners aren’t exactly a rarity – they’ve been a staple of enterprise laptops for over a decade, and a number of companies have fit them into smartphones – manufacturing them on a mass scale remains a challenge.

    Are you looking forward to biometric technology in your next smartphone, or are fingerprint scanners passé? Let us know in the comments.

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    • sk102704

      The Motorola Atrix had a fingerprint scanner but since most people turned it off they haven’t put one in a phone again.

      • Victor V.

        yep I shut mine off after the novelty wore off. A pin/password is a lot more efficient plus there is a work around for the fingerprint scanner..which is the pin/password you have already set up lol

    • jjordan

      This really is old technology…I don’t understand why both apple and Samsung feel this is so important anyways…

      • Benjamin Pavel

        Gimmicks, the more it has the more “WOOOOW” factor it will get at the announcement of that device.
        So in the end we all get excited for things we don’t need thus heightening chances of buying that device. =)

      • Georgi Musorliev

        Cuz that’s ower beometric blues, and they cost a lot, that,s you that’s the ultimate tracking system for mass spying ! IDiooos

    • Trent Richards

      Every laptop my company has purchased in the past 5 years has had a fingerprint scanner built in. Not once have we implemented that method of authentication. This technology is just not in high demand.

    • Andrew_Agustin

      How about the fingerprint sensor from the Motorola Atrix 4G ?

    • Ewoks

      I’ve tested some products with fingerprint scanners in the past and they’re all unreliable. I wouldn’t buy a product just because it have such feature.

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