While Qualcomm’s getting better performance with its second-generation ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that it introduced at MWC Shanghai, it’s still nowhere near practical functionality for major manufacturers to implement it.
That’s the verdict from KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo. In a note obtained by 9to5Mac, it seems that version 2.1 of what was initially called Sense ID has improved on read rates and fraud finger detection. That said:
However, we think there are still a few technological challenges to be addressed, including: (1) scan-through ability still has room for improvement; (2) slower to enable; and (3) slower response.
That could be partly why Qualcomm’s showcase partner, vivo, didn’t have this sensor on its new X9s phones — the sensor was shown off on demo devices instead. And there’s no indication of a commercialization pipeline.
Smartphone manufacturers — perhaps such as Apple though not in the case of the iPhone 8 — are moving onto designs with thinner display glass and flexible OLED displays. Kuo thinks that if Qualcomm isn’t able to properly catch up, perhaps sticking with what we have will be enough.
“Consumers don’t seem to have much of a problem with fingerprint scanners on the back of handsets; thus handset brands may be less compelled to adopt the ultrasonic solution as long as risks persist,” Kuo said.