The coming Samsung Galaxy S5 will notably introduce a fingerprint scanner to the flagship line, but recent reports indicate the Korean manufacturer may be having production issues with the new component.
According to Korean news outlet Duam, Samsung’s manufacturing of its new finger scanner in-house is not going as well as intended. Yields of the component are reportedly not up to par with production numbers expected for the Galaxy S5. The manufacturer may now be looking for third-party vendors to fulfill the rest of its finger scanner component needs.
Reports in early February indicated that Samsung had opted to develop and manufacture its finger scanner on its own because the company was not impressed with the fingerprint scanner technology from outside suppliers. Whether these reports are valid is not known, but pre-launch rumors predicted the Galaxy S5 finger scanner quite accurately. According to Duam, Samsung is currently vetting the South Korean manufacturer CrucialTec, which specializes in track pads, but also produces fingerprint sensors.
This would not be the first time Samsung has had to seek out third-party vendors to meet component yields for production of its flagship devices. Soon after the Galaxy S4 released last year, Samsung admitted that it had to outsource DRAM chips from rival manufacturer SK Hynix in order to keep up with an overall demand for its smartphones.
Samsung is also known for releasing its flagship devices in two variants featuring two different processors: usually an Exynos SoC of its own manufacturing and a Snapdragon SoC produced by the chipset maker Qualcomm. According to Samsung President J.K. Shin, the manufacturer often uses device components from several sources in order to minimize supply shortages; the Exynos and Snapdragon processors in particular are selected for devices due to their complementary handling experiences.
Early pre-launch rumors for the Galaxy S5 suggested that Samsung planned to introduce an iris scanner on the device as a rival to the Apple iPhone 5s Touch ID. However, a Samsung executive mentioned at the 2014 International CES in January that the manufacturer was "studying the possibility" of a finger scanner for the Galaxy S5, which as we know now will actually be a feature on the device. Reports indicated that Samsung’s iris scanner technology was not developed enough for implementation on the Galaxy 5S so Samsung opted to introduce a fingerprint scanner instead.
Samsung will likely have enough finger scanner components ready for the April 11 global launch of the Galaxy S5; however, the manufacturer will need to ensure its yields are steady enough for continued Galaxy S5 production, as well as for finger scanner implementation onto future devices.