Fingerprint sensors under price pressure, says Yole

January 20, 2017 // By Julien Happich
In its Fingerprint Sensor Application & Technologies report, market research firm Yole Développement (Yole) is expecting the fingerprint sensor market to keep growing steeply at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2016 and 2022 in volume into the consumer field.

But this success is double edged, warns Yole, as it coincides with a fast decreasing average selling price due to a strong competitive landscape, process optimization and numerous emerging technologies.

The fingerprint market is exploding notably within the smartphone market where it is expected to increase from US$2.8 billion in 2016 to US$3.4 billion in 2022. From 23 million units in 2013, 689 million fingerprint sensors for smartphones were sold in 2016. This is an incredible 210% CAGR between 2013 and 2016. The 2016-2022 timeframe will see a more reasonable, but still impressive growth.

According to technology & market analyst Guillaume Girardin, the fingerprint market is today pushed by OEMs requiring all-glass design and waterproofing.

“This will lead to the emergence of new technologies like CMOS TFT and ultrasonic detection as new ways to detect fingerprint with a high level of integration”, notes Girardin. ”These new technologies will clearly reshape the competitive landscape.”

Apple introduced the iPhone 5s in 2013, after acquiring Authentec a year earlier. Since then, fingerprint sensors have been massively adopted, and the volumes of sensors shipped into the consumer market have grown incredibly.

“At first, the sensors were a convenience and protection feature for unlocking phones”, explains Guillaume Girardin. “However, they are now shifting into a security feature for online identification and mobile payment in an increasing number of smartphones.”