Early adoption of fingerprint scanners by Samsung's smartphone rivals means the phone-maker has little option but to get on board with the technology with its next flagship Galaxy S handset, one of the industry’s better connected analysts claims.
In a note to investors sourced by Apple Insider, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that Samsung will use fingerprint technology developed by Validity Sensors in the Galaxy S5. The Korean giant has close ties with the Synaptics-owned company.
Samsung’s adoption of the tech, which is aimed at boosting security amid epidemic levels of smartphone thefts worldwide, has been expedited by competitors HTC and Apple making it a key ‘sell’ in their recent top-end efforts, claims Kuo.
He told investors: "Fingerprint is necessary for a star model.
"Because Apple's iPhone 5S and HTC's One Max have fingerprint, S5 the star model can't lack the function even [if] the solution (area type same as iPhone 5S's provided by Validity) is not as mature as iPhone 5S's."
This is broadly in line with market whispers that have been doing the rounds since late last year. It had been posited in some quarters that Samsung could even try to 1UP Apple and HTC with a retina scanner.
However, recent rumours indicate this has been ruled out on cost grounds and that fingerprint tech, which is becoming cheaper month by month, is much more likely to make it to the end product.
Interestingly, Kuo has no truck with other long-standing speculation doing the rounds that Samsung will adopt a metal construction for the Galaxy S5.
The change has purportedly been prompted by unfavourable comparisons between the S4’s plastic build and the HTC One’s metal construction.
The mooted metal S5 was reported to be a premium variant, with a cheaper model set to retain the S4’s plastic shell.
According to Kuo, though, although there will indeed be a deluxe and lower-end editions of the S5, both of these will be plastic.
Instead, Samsung will, it seems, differentiate between the S5 models through “processing power, display resolution and memory”, with both variants featuring a 5.2-inch screen and a 16-megapixel camera.
Samsung is expected to showcase the Galaxy S5 during March or April. However, some supply-chain rumbles point to an earlier-than-unexpected launch at Mobile World Congress next month.