Most of the world’s three smartphone parts makers say most Android phones will be able to replicate the 3D sensor feature behind the face ID of Apple’s iphone facial recognition technology in 2019 years. In the next few years, the market value of related technologies will reach $ billions of trillion, and Samsung and other andriod smartphone makers have to lament.
Over the past 10 years, smartphones have shipped about 1.5 billion a year. While the development of new features has been at the heart of the scramble for global smartphone market share over the past decade, Apple has often been in the lead with its huge research and development spending.
In September 2013, for example, Apple’s new iphone 5S Mobile Home button was configured with a fingerprint sensor function. Samsung, Apple’s biggest competitor, did not provide the same functionality in Galaxy S5 until next April, with other andriod smartphone makers following the fingerprint sensor.
Similarly, 3D sensor technology is expected to enhance the capabilities of a new generation of mobile phones, to achieve accurate and secure facial recognition, while ensuring the security of payments, support gesture perception and immersive shopping and gaming experience.
The Technology research institute Gartner predicts that by 2021, 40% of smartphones will be equipped with 3D cameras, which can also be applied to augmented reality and overlay digital images in real-world environments.
“3D sensor capabilities are very important for augmented reality,” said Gartner analyst Jon Erensen. I think this is something you are not forgotten by the market. ”
According to data from smartphone parts manufacturers Viavi Solutions Inc., Finisar Corp. and AMS AG, the technical bottlenecks in key handset parts mean that the large-scale adoption of 3D sensor technology will not arrive until next year, a gap from previous industry expectations.
That means China’s smartphone maker Huawei, millet and other companies are trailing Apple for almost two years on 3D sensor technology. Apple’s iphone x flagship phone, released last September, features face ID facial recognition.
In particular, Android smartphone makers are struggling to find a supply chain of VCSEL chips for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, a central part of Apple’s face ID hardware.
“Those andriod smartphone makers will take a long time to ensure the entire supply chain,” said Bill Ong, senior director of investor relations at Viavi, a smartphone component maker. “Viavi is considered by the industry as the only optical filter provider for 3D sensor modules.
“At the end of the year we may introduce 3D sensor technology for products from the second smartphone manufacturer,” he said. Capacity will be low. By 2019, you will see at least two or more Android phones configured with 3D sensor capabilities, “he added.
Ong declined to say which andriod smartphone makers could release 3D facial-recognition handsets this year, but said Viavi was negotiating with all major smartphone makers on the issue of filter supplies.
Individual Android phones with 3D sensor capabilities are on the market, but few, such as the Asus Zenfone AR smartphone released last year. But such smartphones do not use facial recognition sensors like the iphone x.
Apple, Huawei and Millet declined to comment, and Samsung’s current mobile phone uses a standard camera for facial recognition.
Apple’s leading position in 3D sensor technology is the latest evidence of the aggressive tactics adopted by the company that Cook is leading. The company made full use of its financial strength to expand technical advantages.
Last December, the iphone maker bought the supply chain of Vcsel chip maker Finisar at a price of $390 million, a representative move. Another is Apple’s repeated communication with major cobalt producers to ensure the supply of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for their phones.
“Apple has always attached great importance to its supply chain,” says Gartner’s Erensen, “when it comes to new technologies such as 3D sensors and their use in newer handsets, Apple takes its place in the market in a radical, differentiated way.” ”
Some industry analysts said their channel survey showed that Apple initially procured Vcsel chips from California State, the handset-parts maker Lumentum, which last year spurred Apple’s 390 million dollar deal with Finisar.
Lumentum Company’s earnings show that the company will expand the Vcsel chip and Edge Laser transmitter (edge-emitting) capacity in the first half of fiscal year 2019.
Another two optical component manufacturers Oclaro and Finisar are expected to expand their capacity further in 2019.
But the main Android smartphone makers are still looking for their own vcsel chip supply chain.
Craig Thompson, Finisar’s vice-president for marketing, said the industry was interested in the new technology.
“Each customer has its own schedule and release plan that we cannot discuss.” But we expect a big increase in market opportunities for Vcsel technology in 2019, “he said.
Headquartered in Austria, AMS is also expected to release the Vcsel chip next year, saying it has reached a deal with a smartphone maker.
“As part of the integration of external and internal vcsel supply chains, we are currently able to make use of external supply chain production chips, in addition to building VCSEL-chip in-house production lines in Singapore,” said Moritz Gmeiner, head of the AMS Investor Relations Division. ”