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Samsung hesitant to use Qualcomm's unsecure ultrasonic fingerprint scanner in future phones

Samsung and other OEMs could have become wary of using Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on their future devices next year due to recent security issues.

Samsung bucked the industry trend and went with Qualcomm's ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 which uses ultrasonic waves to read one's fingerprint in 3D, while almost every other OEM went with an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.

It was touted that Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint scanner was faster, secure, and more reliable. However, the real-life experience turned out to be exactly the opposite as the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series were panned for their slow fingerprint scanner performance.

Worse, a major security flaw was discovered with the fingerprint scanner on these flagship Galaxy devices which allowed almost anyone to unlock the phones. This security flaw led to many banks disabling the fingerprint sign-in feature in their app for the S10 and Note 10. Samsung was quick to roll out an update and fix the flaw but the issue had already had a negative impact on the company's image by then.

An official from a Korean telecommunications company says Samsung ended up going with Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint scanner despite security issues. These same security concerns could make other OEMs hesitant to adopt the technology in their future devices. A local analyst also believes that Samsung could end up ditching the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner for optical in-display fingerprint scanners made by Korean companies in 2020.

Qualcomm is expected to announce its second generation ultrasonic fingerprint scanner at the upcoming Snapdragon Tech Summit which should address these security concerns and further improve the performance of the scanner. The company will also announce its flagship Snapdragon 865 chip for 2020 at the same event.

Source: The Korea Times

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