Samsung happy to wait for Apple to make fingerprint technology stick
Fingerprint security may be a big talking point at the moment, with Apple adopting it for the iPhone 5S and HTC rumoured to be adding some form of scanner to its highly anticipated HTC One Max, but Samsung isn't sure about it at all. In fact, one executive has revealed that its not even in development.
Before its announcement and subsequent release, speculation ran rife that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 would come with fingerprint technology. However, the manufacturer put faith in its software-based Knox security system instead. And it doesn't look like any follow-up handset will feature hardware security either.
"We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system and Knox for Galaxy Note 3 for security functions. We are not yet developing the technology," a Samsung official is quoted to have said by The Korea Herald.
Analysts in the company's homeland believe that this is down to two reasons. First, Samsung has to rely on Crucialtec for its fingerprint technologies, the only company in Korea to specialise in that area, and it is believed to be lagging behind Apple-acquisition Authentec in patents and solutions.
"Samsung has to rely on the company for fingerprint functions, but its technology level is still behind Authentec in terms of patents and solutions. It will take a year more for the company to supply stable technology,” said Woori Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hye-yong.
Second, it is claimed that Samsung would rather wait to see if the technology grows to anything more than a trend.
"Fingerprint scanners are a trend rather than a necessity. There seems to be few things that can be added to handsets. Smartphone makers now face an innovation hurdle," said Hyundai Securities’ researcher Yoon Jung-sun.
"In the mobile sector, Samsung has been a fast follower instead of being a risk taker. It is waiting until its rival Apple opens up the market to some extent."