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In-screen fingerprint sensors coming to 100 million phones by 2019?

A new report predicts we'll see a lot more fingerprint sensors that live underneath phone displays.


Fingerprint sensors that fit underneath your phone's display could become more common. 

James Martin/CNET

Your next smartphone might have a fingerprint sensor built in to the screen.

Shipments of phones using the technology will hit 100 million by 2019, according to a report out Wednesday from financial services firm IHS Markit. That's more than ten times the 2018 forecast of 9 million.

Under-display fingerprint sensors "allow phones to have full-screen displays with an invisible fingerprint feature," IHS Markit said in a statement. Companies like Apple, Samsung and Huawei have focused on providing phones with edge-to-edge displays. A fingerprint reader integrated into the screen allows phone vendors to shrink bezels while still keeping biometrics like the fingerprint reader conveniently located on the phone's face. 

Now playing: Watch this: See the first in-screen fingerprint scanner in action

But 100 million phones with this type of technology is a humongous leap. There are only two phones you can buy with in-screen fingerprint readers: the Vivo X20 Plus UD, which sells primarily in China, and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS, a limited-edition model with three cameras on the back that sells for the equivalent of $2,100, £1,500 and AU$2,700.

Right now, phones with in-screen fingerprint sensors are a trend waiting to happen. For the past year, both iPhones and Samsung phones have been rumored to add the technology. Analysts at IHS Markit believe the tide will turn rapidly.

"With Vivo and Huawei recently launching several models with the under-display fingerprint solution, it is certainly rising as a new trend," IHS Markit's director of touch and user interface, Calvin Hsieh, said in a statement.

Phonemakers better get moving if they want to hit that number.