Lately, there has been much excitement brewing over under-screen fingerprint scanners, especially with recent news that Vivo’s newest flagship device offering, the X21, was already beginning its global launch. Vivo knows something about in-display fingerprint sensors -- after all, it had showcased what many consider as the first ever under-screen fingerprint reader on a prototype phone earlier this year during the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in the city of Las Vegas in Nevada last January.
This week marks the start of the global launch of the X21, the newest flagship offering from Vivo. As one of the leading phone maker brands in China (considered by many as the biggest market for smartphone devices in the whole world), it would only be natural for Vivo to release the X21 first in its native homeland (which it did back in March early this year). Now, the X21 is about to hit store shelves in international markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, and soon after, the rest of the world. Vivo’s X21 smartphone will come with a starting price of around $600.
According to a report recently released by financial services company IHS Markit, the volume of shipments of smartphones that feature a display with a built in fingerprint scanner will go over a hundred million units by next year. For some context, the current projected number for this year is at a significantly more tame 9 million units.
Ming-Chi Kuo, the noted mobile industry analyst from KGI Securities, has predicted before that Samsung’s follow up to last year’s Galaxy Note 8 would be equipped with a fingerprint reader underneath its display. But this week, Kuo has since revised his forecast, saying that the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 (expected to be released some time within the second half of this year) will not be sporting the feature after all. According to Kuo, unforeseen technical issues are to blame for Samsung’s decision to do away with the embedded fingerprint sensor, at least for its second flagship device offering for 2018.
Vivo’s new X20 Plus UD phablet is considered by many as the first ever smartphone in the world to sport an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and it will officially be launching in China, the phone maker’s native homeland, this coming January 24th. After the handset hits store shelves (at least in the Chinese mobile market) this week, other mobile brands are expected to also introduce their own take on the under-display fingerprint scanner concept.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Vivo was able to successfully demo a fully functioning prototype of its under-display fingerprint scanning technology. Although the Chinese tech giant’s prototype handset does not come with any official model or product name yet, it is nevertheless a real, physical prototype, as opposed to an idea or a virtual simulation.
In this day and age, fingerprint scanners are quite common, especially among high end and midrange smartphone devices. But most of them are either placed on the back of a handset, or located on the home button (as seen on some of Apple’s iPhone models of recent years). Synaptics, however, is looking to put them under every display screen in the planet, that is if it has its way.
The company certainly has put itself in a good position to do exactly just that. Just this week, Synaptics has officially announced that it has commenced mass production of its new Clear ID FS9500 in-display fingerprint sensor, in collaboration with an unnamed top five original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
There are rumors circulating that Apple continues to experience problems with regards to embedding the Touch ID sensor underneath the OLED (organic light emitting diode) display screen of its upcoming iPhone 8 device. Earlier reports that surfaced some time ago had indicated that the tech giant had encountered these embedding issues when it first produced its highly awaited iPhone 8 flagship. Despite some subsequent reports suggesting that the company had resolved the issues, rumors continue to swirl around Apple’s apparent inability to fix the problem.
For some time now, speculation has been rife with regards to Apple experimenting with a form of under-display fingerprint reading technology, and understandably, some industry watchers were fully expecting the tech giant to debut this tech in an upcoming iPhone offering. But surprisingly, Vivo, a phone maker from China, has beaten Apple to the punch.
Earlier this week, Google had revealed that it was starting the roll out of Android 7.1.2, the newest version of Android Nougat, to devices such as the Google Pixel and the Nexus 5X (built by LG) by way of an over the air update. Based on the most recent developer preview, owners of the Nexus 5X will be delighted to know that the device will now receive a new feature that was once only available to the Pixel, but often requested to be included in the Nexus 5X. Specifically, this feature allows users to swipe down on the device’s fingerprint reader to display notification alerts.
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