Fingerprint Sensors See Growing Demand in Mobile Device Market - New Research

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New research from The Kerton Group on integrated biometric sensors in the wireless market indicates a growing market with strong drivers for inclusion in handsets and promising opportunities for the sensor manufacturers.

The market for fingerprint sensors in handsets has broadened substantially in the past 18 months and is poised to really take off

The Kerton Group, a wireless consulting and analysis firm, has completed research on the advent of fingerprint readers in mobile devices, which indicates a growing market with strong drivers for inclusion in handsets and promising opportunities for the sensor manufacturers.

Growth drivers for fingerprint-enabled handsets are stronger than for laptops:
While about 20% of laptops already ship with integrated fingerprint sensors for security, mobile devices are even more mobile, and less secure. Fingerprint sensors on mobile phones not only protect private data stored on the device, but also can block unauthorized use of mobile phone services, act as a 'mouse style' user input device that improves user interface navigation capabilities, create personalized user interface shortcuts, and eliminate the need for remembering and typing passwords.

Integrated fingerprint readers in demand in Asia, expanding to Europe & U.S.:
Of the over 40 mobile phones with integrated fingerprint sensors shipping today, most are sold in Asia. Chinese and Japanese consumers value security to the degree of choosing handsets with security features. In China, these phones also employ the user interface features of the sensors. And in Japan, phones lock the FeliCa payment function with fingerprint security. Adoption of fingerprint phones has also recently begun in Europe and availability to U.S. consumers is expected soon.

The growth curve for fingerprint sensors:
"The market for fingerprint sensors in handsets has broadened substantially in the past 18 months and is poised to really take off," says Derek Kerton, Principal of the Wireless Practice at The Kerton Group. "Handset makers, wireless carriers, and their enterprise customers are feeling the pressure and the result will be a surge of new handsets with integrated biometric sensors coming out in the next 12-24 months."

Sensor manufacturers well placed to lead the growth:
Although all laptop fingerprint sensor manufacturers have started, or plan to start, getting into the mobile device segment, two manufacturers currently dominate the segment. Atrua, which builds its sensors and software exclusively for mobile devices, won 81% of design wins to date in 2007/2008 while its nearest competitor, Authentec, which is strong in the laptop sector, and leads in mobile handsets sold in Japan, won 19% of designs.

Research Brief Available:
This research, compiled into a 18-page Brief, is available for purchase from The Kerton Group. Contents include input from the major fingerprint sensor manufacturers, handset makers, and carriers, evaluation of the market drivers, and status of the fingerprint sensor enabled handsets in current and upcoming models. Please visit http://www.kertongroup.com/publications.html to purchase this Brief.

About The Kerton Group:
The Kerton Group provides insightful, expert analysis and consulting to the wireless telecom industry. Our consultants have a deep, vertical knowledge of wireless telecommunications that helps us fully understand technology, market, product, and business issues for our clients- who include carriers, application companies, content providers, and device manufacturers such as NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, British Telecom, Bouygues Telecom, TELUS, Disney, Sony, and Broadcom. We offer strategy, marketing, research, and advisory services. http://www.kertongroup.com.

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Stephanie Owyoung
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