Although the technology isn’t exactly new, as Motorola adopted it for the Atrix way back in early 2011, it was only this year that phones capable of fingerprint identification truly took off. Apple is already on its third Touch ID-enabled iPhone generation, Samsung switched from glitchy swipe to easy one-touch recognition with the Galaxy S6, and even lower-profile brands such as Meizu or ZUK now offer the advanced biometric authentication method at relatively reasonable prices.
It’s no wonder, really, given fingerprint sensors are nowhere near as expensive to manufacture as one would imagine, and costs should keep dropping in the foreseeable future. Unsurprisingly, that means more budget specialists headquartered in China will look to integrate the feature in their handhelds next year.
“Industry sources” quoted by notorious rumor-mongering publication Digitimes forecast 30 to 40 percent of China-made Androids shipped in 2016 shall support seamless fingerprint unlocking and perhaps mobile payments too, up from 15 percent tops in 2015.
It sounds like a major upsurge, and so, we won’t act shocked if, say, Xiaomi comes up with a sub-$200, even sub-$150 device touting a fingerprint scanner. Let’s just hope rising demand for locally designed components of this nature will not make suppliers Goodix Technology, Silead, Egistec or FocalTech Systems cut speed, reliability or security corners. The aim should be to make the technology ubiquitous and practical instead of increasingly gimmicky.