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Fingerprint module supplies likely to fall short of demand in 1H14
            Supply of fingerprint modules may fall short of demand in the first half of 2014 as more and more smartphone vendors are expected to follow the steps of Apple to adopt fingerprint sensors for their high-end models, according to industry sources. Apple kicked off the growth momentum for fingerprint sensors by adopting the capacitive fingerprint sensors from AuthenTec for its iPhone 5s. Apple is expected to continue using the same technology for its new products released in 2014, indicated the sources.

  Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC was quick to follow the steps by adopting fingerprint sensors from Validity Sensors for its large-size model, the HTC One Max, launched in October 2013. Korea-based smartphone vendors Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics reportedly are planning to adopt fingerprint sensors from Validity and Sweden-based FingerPrint Cards (FPCs), respectively, for their upcoming high-end models, the sources revealed.

  China-based handset suppliers are also looking for similar capacitive fingerprint chips for their models priced at over CNY3,000 (US$496) for the high-end segment, and it is estimated that over 30% of high-end smartphones rolled out by China"s vendors in 2014 will come with fingerprint sensor modules, said the sources.

  However, the number of fingerprint sensor suppliers is rather limited, which could affect the supply of sensor chips, especially because AuthenTec has been acquired by Apple, and Validity is now a company under Synaptics, commented the sources.

  To tap the rising sensor market, a number of Taiwan-based IC design houses, including Egis Technology (EgisTec), Image Match Design, FocalTech Systems and Gingy Technology (Gingytech) have ventured into the development of fingerprint sensor technology and may step into the fingerprint sensor market in the second half of 2014, the sources revealed.