If Vivo can implement a perfectly functional (on the surface, at least) in-display fingerprint recognition method on a “full-production” smartphone (or two), why wouldn’t Samsung be able to finally ditch the awkward rear-mounted sensor from the Galaxy Note 9 in the fall?
Apparently, the chaebol’s “technical requirements” are still too demanding for Vivo partner Synaptics, as well as an assortment of other possible suppliers including Qualcomm, Goodix, Egis and Samsung’s own LSI subsidiary.
Even KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is ready to alter his prediction from roughly five months ago, agreeing with more recent speculation of yet another delay. Best case scenario, Samsung will “lead the way” in the mass-market adoption of under-display OLED fingerprint scanning sometime in the “first quarter of 2019”, most likely with the Galaxy S10 (or Galaxy X) introduction.
Until then, you can expect the Note 9 to strongly resemble the Galaxy S9 and S9+, just like the Note 8 closely followed the design direction set by the S8 and S8+ last year. That probably means another capacitive fingerprint reader placed on another snazzy glass back, only this time below the camera rather than next to it.
By the way, Kuo doesn’t believe “facial recognition can fully replace fingerprint recognition” in the long run, despite Apple’s reported commitment to the former. Hence, in-display fingerprint sensing solutions may still have a bright future ahead of them, being considered essential for true “full-screen” designs.