Samsung suppliers located in the tech giant's homeland are doubting Apple's rumored iPhone display-embedded Touch ID. This is according to a recent news report from a South Korean publication. At the start of this week, Patently Apple cited a Korean tech report in its story about Samsung suppliers openly doubting the Cupertino giant's ability to introduce a display-embedded fingerprint sensor in the upcoming next-generation iPhone. The Apple-centric site has learned from the report that Korean display tech firms are skeptical about Apple's ambitious move. An official from one of the firms was even quoted to have said, "It is still extremely difficult to develop transparent sensors and components to be used for an all-screen smartphone."
Samsung is likely to give up on putting the fingerprint sensor into the display panel of the Galaxy Note 8. Multiple sources have already indicated that the South Korea giant is now unlikely to debut a new flagship phablet with a display-embedded fingerprint scanner. Early this week, Korea Herald learned from an industry source that Samsung is struggling to realize its goal of releasing a Note-branded phone with a fingerprint scanner on-screen. "Samsung is having a hard time making an integrated circuit -- a chip which should be placed under a display because of its opaque color -- to read the fingerprint image on the surface of the display," the source was quoted as saying. The source also shared that other "technical challenges" like the low production yield of such a unique sensor and the difficulty in concealing or making the sensor transparent have discouraged Samsung as well. Another issue that Samsung is reportedly facing with its display-embedded fingerprint scanner has to do with the uneven display brightness it makes, as leaked on Chinese site Weibo.
A render for Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 has surfaced online, and it hints at a major feature that didn't make the cut on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The newly leaked image shows that the Note 8 won't have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The newly leaked render for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was share on Twitter by Poyoco Tech, which claims to be a page that delivers "latest leaks and renders of upcoming tech gadgets." As for the render itself, the Galaxy Note 8 appears to borrow the same design language of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The Note 8 appears to use the same Infinity Display design that was introduced by Samsung for the Galaxy S8 giving it the edge-to-edge screen look.
Apple may have given up on including a display-embedded fingerprint reader in the upcoming iPhone 8, but it is definitely still aspiring to come up with such a technology for its future handsets. As a matter of fact, the Cupertino giant has just been granted a patent that contains key information on the type of sub-display fingerprint sensor it intends to develop. This Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Tim Cook's company a patent for what Apple could be preparing for its next flagship smartphone after this year's 10th anniversary iPhone. Patent No. 9,747,488, which is titled "Active sensing element for acoustic imaging systems," details how an advanced technology can gather biometric data, specifically fingerprints, using ultrasonic transmission and detection. The acoustic fingerprint imaging system described in the patent has a transducer, an independent drive and a sense circuitry.
Since early this year, rumors about Apple developing a new flagship iPhone with screen-embedded fingerprint sensor have been spreading like wildfire. The rumors were fueled by the idea that Tim Cook's company is planning to launch a new smartphone that is mostly display and with very little bezels. However, a Wall Street analyst is now going against these speculations. On Monday, Pacific Crest Securities equity research analyst Andy Hargreaves said that the Cupertino giant will likely ditch its plan of including display-embedded Touch ID into the OLED-based iPhone 8. Apple is already months into developing its next flagship iPhone but it has yet to finalize the fingerprint scanner for the device, making it plausible that the handset could either ship later than the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus or just launch sans a screen-embedded sensor at all. "At this point, we do not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has firm orders for production, which suggests Apple does not have functionality of the optical fingerprint sensor ready," Hargreaves told Apple Insider.