It is reported that the recent major event is undoubtedly the mobile world congress 2019 held in Barcelona, Spain. In this uncertain market period, it is a good time to resume the three smart phone brand strategies. Industry, financial circles and consumers are all eyeing apple, Huawei and Samsung.

Let’s start with technology leaders. Apple took the lead in launching the latest generation of iPhone XR, XS and XS Max in september2018. Judging from the products launched at the Barcelona exhibition, the competition in this field has indeed become increasingly fierce.

In the last quarter of 2018, Huawei announced that it had reached the second place in the global smartphone market. In its Nova 4 smartphone, a three camera scheme with dual optical image stabilization (OIS) system is selected for its back, and a single hole self timer camera is mounted on its front. Although there are still four cameras in total, compared with the previous P20 pro, it lacks 3D sensing (face recognition). Therefore, 3D face recognition is still considered to be a more high-end choice than off-screen fingerprint recognition.

Samsung demonstrated a new generation of mobile phones very similar to Huawei. Nevertheless, the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer has demonstrated its strength in S10 + 5g series products, launching a three camera scheme including two rear cameras and one front camera, and a top-level scheme with up to six cameras, including four rear cameras and two front cameras.

Yole stressed in his latest report “camera module industry status -2019 edition” that the camera module industry has developed to a new stage. It is estimated that the global camera module market will reach US $27.1 billion in 2018, maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% in the next five years, and the market scale is expected to reach US $45.7 billion in 2024.

Off screen fingerprint recognition and 3D face recognition are the main driving forces of the consumer biometric market

2012-2024 compact camera module (CCM) market revenue forecast by market segment

Smart phones are the main application driving the growth of camera module market.

Samsung S10 + 5g may be the heaviest product released at the 2019 world mobile communication conference. However, 5g connectivity is only one aspect. It is absolutely a bold design for Samsung to embed a 3D time of flight (TOF) camera in both the front and back of its flagship mobile phone. This is a big move that Samsung did not come up with until two years after Apple launched 3D sensing and biometrics.

At present, it is obvious that there are two conflicting mainstream trends: one is the tendency to lay out 3D face recognition on the front of smart phones; The other is to abandon 3D face recognition in the front to achieve a truly comprehensive screen.

The comprehensive screen strategy is driven by the “amazing display effect”. By increasing the screen share, it highlights the immersive video experience driven by 5g applications. The collapsible screen is also an extension of this trend, and may eventually achieve a balance between smartphones and tablets. From the perspective of the current smart phone and tablet computer industry, it is still uncertain whether the folding screen can bring additional revenue to the industry or increase the shipment.

The 3D face recognition strategy uses the 3D sensor as the biometric interface, which combines biometrics and human-computer interaction interface (HMI). This conflicts with the aesthetic design of the full screen and is limited by mobile phone design, camera and display technology. Apple is actively developing more ideal technology solutions and is expected to be available before the end of this year.

According to the report of consumer biometric market and technology trends – 2018 edition, in the near future, off screen fingerprint recognition and 3D face recognition should still be the mainstream identity recognition technologies. This will drive the consumer biometric market to grow from $3.7 billion in 2017 to $15.7 billion in 2023.

Off screen fingerprint recognition and 3D face recognition are the main driving forces of the consumer biometric market

Market forecast of consumer biometric sensor modules by technology from 2017 to 2023

Off screen fingerprint recognition and 3D face recognition are the main driving forces of the consumer biometric market.

At present, the comprehensive screen strategy can help Samsung and Chinese manufacturers maintain the innovation and sales of mid-range smartphones through brilliant aesthetic design. Unfortunately, this seems to be a dead end, because the front self timer camera cannot be removed and needs continuous improvement to attract users and drive sales.

Therefore, we believe that this is likely to be a temporary strategy, so that the proponents of this strategy can develop a more economical 3D sensing solution that is comparable to the performance of apple face ID, while taking into account other limitations of seamless integration to avoid any bangs or holes in the display.

Huawei’s strategy is very simple: the P20 pro with 3D face recognition is a response to Apple products and provides similar 3D sensing functions; The newly released Nova 4 is a response to Samsung’s comprehensive screen series products. Obviously, Huawei is competing with apple and Samsung on two fronts.

Off screen fingerprint recognition and 3D face recognition are the main driving forces of the consumer biometric market

Major manufacturers in CMOS camera module industry

As far as Samsung is concerned, it doesn’t look any different. Samsung can rely on its lucrative display supply business to drive a larger screen share. This will help serve the mid tier market. Of course, Samsung will not ignore the more high-end top markets. With the launch of 3D TOF sensor in S10 + 5g, Samsung has been able to gain a foothold in this very high-end market and truly participate in the “luxury mobile phone” market competition.


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