A certain security feature is expected to give Android smartphones an advantage over Apple's iPhones in the near future, including the 2018 iPhone models that will be unveiled on Sept. 12.
While the feature is already available in a handful of Android smartphones, its most high-profile appearance will be on the Galaxy S10, Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone after the recently released Galaxy Note 9.
The Advantage Of The Android Phone vs iPhone
The security feature that will give Android phones an advantage over iPhones in the near future is the in-display fingerprint sensor.
According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as many as 170 million Android smartphones with in-display fingerprint sensors will be sold in 2019. The analyst wrote in a note that all major Android smartphone makers believe that the fingerprint-on-display feature is the most important feature to differentiate their devices from Apple's iPhones. Companies that are working on fingerprint-on-display technology include Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo.
One of these devices is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy S10, as the in-display fingerprint sensor was pushed back from the Galaxy Note 9. Samsung will not be the first company to offer the feature, but the company's technology is believed to be superior compared to the in-display fingerprint sensors released by Chinese smartphone manufacturers, such as on the Vivo X21.
No iPhone In-Display Fingerprint Sensor: Why?
Apple and Samsung have long been known to be copying each other when it comes to smartphone features, but the iPhone will apparently not integrate an in-display fingerprint sensor up to at least next year, Kuo said.
According to Kuo, the available in-display fingerprint sensors only have limited support for OLED screens, which Apple will use for the upcoming iPhone XS. In addition, the sensors currently only work for a particular location and not across the entire screen, though that may already happen next year.
In addition, Apple's iPhones might have lesser need for in-display fingerprint sensors as an authentication method, when the company's Face ID is working out well. The system is in place in the iPhone X, which eschews the fingerprint scanner altogether in favor of the facial recognition technology. It is widely expected that Apple will continue banking on Face ID in this year's iPhone X upgrades, with the possibility of bringing back Touch ID down the road if it ever adopts in-display fingerprint scanners.
In-display fingerprint sensors will definitely differentiate Android smartphones from iPhones in the near future, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to challenge Apple's upcoming 2018 iPhone models.