More Than 1 Billion Smartphones Will Ship With Fingerprint Scanner Next Year: Counterpoint


  • Fingerprint sensor is quickly becoming a common feature in smartphones
  • Next year, the vast majority of smartphones are expected to ship with it
  • Chinese phone makers are bringing fingerprint sensors to low-cost phones

Fingerprint scanners, a feature that was introduced only four years ago, will be seen in nearly all of the smartphones that will ship next year. According to research firm Counterpoint, more than one billion smartphones with a fingerprint sensor will be shipped in 2018.

The fingerprint scanner, which was popularised by Apple starting with the iPhone 5s model, has been adopted by every smartphone manufacturer. Moving forward, it is likely to be the standard authentication choice for smartphone OEMs, Counterpoint Research projected.

Samsung, Apple, and Huawei continue to be among the frontrunners among smartphone makers in distributing handsets with a fingerprint scanner. In the second quarter of 2017, which ended in June, Samsung topped the chart among phone makers for shipping 12 percent of all smartphones with a fingerprint sensor. Apple and Huawei had 11 percent and 8 percent market share respectively.

The rapid adoption of fingerprint scanner comes as customers across the globe start using features such as mobile payments and mobile banking. Fingerprint scanner has become an essential component of a smartphone today, analysts at Counterpoint said in a press statement.

But there is one more reason behind this adoption. Chinese smartphone makers are increasingly trickling down fingerprint scanners, a feature that was only available on premium smartphones only two years ago, to affordable handsets as a top selling differentiator. The Redmi 4, which retails at Rs. 6,999, for instance also comes with a fingerprint scanner.

“Reliability of the fingerprint sensor is major issue, as most of the capacitive fingerprint sensors can be easily spoofed. However, with the latest fingerprint sensors that have live finger detection, or employ ultrasonic fingerprint sensing technology to create a 3D image of the fingerprints, it is potentially more secure and should be the next factor of differentiation for OEMs,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint said.