‘Unprecedented growth’ for biometric smartphones
24 January 2017 11:12 GMT

Global rollout of biometric smartphones is gaining traction driven by demands for mobile application security, according to recent research from Acuity Market Intelligence.

According to the research consultancy’s 2017 edition of the Biometric Smartphone Update, 87 smartphone vendors introduced 346 biometric smartphones in the past year. This brings the total number introduced since 2013 to 549, more than double the 200 models Acuity reported a year ago.

“The proliferation of biometric smartphones is extraordinary. The 500 models currently available represent a 10-fold increase in two years,” says Maxine Most, principal, Acuity Market Intelligence. “Biometric smartphone growth will continue as mobile application security, particularly for financial services, requires biometric authentication, low-cost sensors drive down the cost of biometric integration, and consumers demand an end to password and pin based security.”

Acuity analysis indicates nearly one billion biometric smartphones are currently in use representing 40% of the global smartphone market. Acuity says it expects this to grow to 100% of the two billion smartphones shipped annually within two years reaching 100% installed base penetration by 2022.

According the Acuity, during 2014, 28 biometric smartphone vendors, most with single offerings, defined the market. Today, of the 87 vendors offering biometric smartphones, more than 30 offer at least six models and market leaders ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung and Xiaomi have each introduced at least 20 models. 

“This unprecedented growth supports Acuity’s assertion that within two years, biometrics will be as ubiquitous on smartphones as high resolution cameras are today,” says Most. 

“Acuity is confident the market will achieve the 100% biometric smartphone penetration originally forecast for the end of 2018 in Acuity’s Global Biometrics and Mobility Report, says Most. “This will not only fundamentally change the dynamics of the smartphone market but create a truly global platform for biometric authentication.”