Fingerprint Scanner
Apple and Samsung are both developing their own in-house ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanners. REUTERS/Jason Lee

In-display fingerprint sensors are what a lot of consumers are expecting from future flagship smartphones. A new report claims that both Apple and Samsung are working on ultrasonic fingerprint scanners to make this possible.

This piece of news was first reported by the Korean website Chosun. The site claims that Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm are all working on ultrasonic fingerprint scanners. The site also says that Samsung is expected to introduce the Fingerprint On Display (FOD) technology for the Galaxy S10, which will launch in March 2019.

Industry sources claim that Samsung has abandoned its plan to include the ultrasonic FOD technology in the Galaxy Note 9. The Note 9 is expected to be released sometime later this year and would have been the first Samsung Android phone to feature the technology if the company didn’t change its plans.

Chinese phone makers like Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi have already applied in-display fingerprint scanners to their Android phones. However, the technology that those companies are using is optical-based and not ultrasonic.

Optical in-display scanners are able to recognize fingerprints by reflecting light off of the user’s fingers. The optical sensors used by those companies are provided by Synaptics and Gudix, accoridng to MSPowerUser.

Meanwhile, ultrasonic scanners use ultrasound to capture the details on the user’s skin. Ultrasonic fingerprint scanners are said to be more accurate and secure than optical solutions. However, it’s believed to cost more and the manufacturing yield is said to be difficult to secure.

Samsung is believed to be developing its in-house ultrasonic fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy S10. It’s very unlikely that Apple and Qualcomm are collaborating to develop this technology since the two companies have a rocky relationship with one another. This is why it’s being speculated that Apple is working on its own as well.

No information was given on when Apple will bring the in-display fingerprint scanner to the iPhone, but it’s very likely that other manufacturers will follow suit once Apple adopts the technology.

Qualcomm debuted its ultrasonic fingerprint scanner last year at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai and it’s already being used on the $2,000 Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. It's very likely that Qualcomm's technology will be included in more devices this year.

The Vivo X20 Plus UD was the very first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner. It uses the Synaptics Clear ID optical fingerprint scanner. Although it garnered a lot of attention, critics found it to be slower than traditional fingerprint scanners, as pointed out by Android Authority.