Kuo: Android devices to rely on alternate 3D sensing tech after iPhone X takes early lead with TrueDepth

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In a bid to catch up with Apple’s TrueDepth 3D-sensing camera, Android device makers are looking to incorporate similar components using time-of-flight technology, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, though the first models are not expected to arrive until 2019.
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Apple will reportedly have 3D face sensing exclusive until 2019

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(Reuters) — Most Android phones will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple’s Face ID security, three major parts producers have told Reuters, handicapping Samsung and others on a technology that is set to be worth billions in revenue over the next few years. The development of new features for the esti…Read More
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Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sensing Race

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Apple has gained a two-year lead over its rivals in the smartphone industry in the area of 3D sensing technology, according to a new report on Tuesday.

Following talks with three major parts suppliers, Reuters estimates that Android phone makers will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple’s Face ID security, which debuted last year in the iPhone X.

According to parts manufacturers Viavi Solutions Inc, Finisar Corp and Ams AG, bottlenecks on key parts will mean mass adoption of 3D sensing will not happen until next year, disappointing earlier expectations.

That means that China’s Huawei, Xiaomi and others could be a total of almost two years behind Apple, which launched Face ID with its iPhone X anniversary phone last September.

Android producers are reportedly struggling to source vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, a key component of Apple’s TrueDepth camera that the company moved to secure supplies of last year. In December, Apple said it planned to invest $390 million in Finisar Corp, which supplies the components for VCSELs.

Apple said the investment would enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of VCSELs, which power some of the iPhone’s X flagship features, such as Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

According to Reuters‘ sources, Apple was initially sourcing VCSELs chiefly from California-based Lumentum, and it was bottlenecks in production there last year that also spurred the $390 million deal with Finisar.

Meanwhile, Lumentum, which declined to comment on the report, is ramping up additional manufacturing capacity for VCSELs and edge-emitting lasers for the first half of fiscal 2019, according to the company’s earnings call.

Another producer, Austria-based Ams, also expects to have VCSEL chips widely available next year and says it has won a large deal with one phone maker.

Viavi, the only major supplier of optical filters needed for the 3D sensing modules, believes only one Android handset maker will deliver 3D sensing by the end of the calendar year, but volumes are likely to be very low. The company expects at least two more Android-based phones to follow that trend in 2019.

According to a report in October by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies tripled after Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology, which will likely replace traditional Touch ID fingerprint recognition in future iOS devices.

Apple is reportedly working on a new high-end 2018 iPad that will adopt many of the design elements from the revamped iPhone X, including built-in support for Face ID. The new tablet device, which is likely to be a “Pro” model, will reportedly do away with the Home button.

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Apple has two-year head start on Android in 3D sensing arms race, report says

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Apple’s savvy supply chain acumen has afforded it a two-year lead in a mounting 3D sensing arms race the company sparked with the introduction of Face ID on iPhone X, as reports claim major suppliers will not have crucial parts available for Android makers until 2019.
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Samsung Working on 3D Sensing Face ID Competitor for Galaxy S10

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Samsung tried to copy iPhone X’s Animoji feature with AR Emoji on the Galaxy S9. While Apple made use of its advanced TrueDepth camera system for Animoji, Samsung’s implementation relied solely on the 8MP autofocus camera at the front. No wonder then that the final results are not up to the mark. Not deterred by the poor reviews of AR Emoji, Samsung is reportedly working with its suppliers on a 3D sensing camera module for the Galaxy S10. Continue reading
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Rear-facing 3D sensing technology possibly slated for fall 2019 iPhone, allowing Apple to press AR advantage

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With the iPhone X just three months out of the gate, and discussions about the 2018 iPhone refresh starting, eyes are starting to look at 2019, with new supply chain discussion by an investment analyst firm suggesting that Apple is now working on a world-facing 3D sensor to assert dominance in augmented reality.
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iPhone X seen as ‘strategic success’ for Apple as 3D sensing cameras 2 years ahead of competitors

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Fretting over iPhone X sales data is a fool’s errand, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes, as he told investors on Monday that the premium-priced handset is a key strategic move for the company, positioning it far ahead of competitors for years to come.
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Android makers looking into 3D sensing, under-display fingerprint readers sidelined

The under-display fingerprint reader may end up being replaced before it even becomes mainstream, at least in high-end smartphones, if a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is right on the money. According to the paper, Android phone makers are looking into 3D mapping solutions for facial recognition in the wake of the iPhone X announcement with similar tech. The inquiries by smartphone manufacturers into 3D sensing have more than tripled since the announcement of the iPhone X, the analyst reports. In addition to the security applications, these technologies allow for augmented reality use, as…

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Android makers shift focus from under-display fingerprint readers to 3D sensing after iPhone X debut

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According to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Android hardware makers have turned their attention away from under-display fingerprint readers and toward 3D sensing technologies like those Apple debuted with iPhone X, a flip-flop designed to capture customer sentiment.
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Analyst predicts Apple supplier stranglehold on ‘iPhone 8’ 3D sensing tech impacting Chinese OEMs

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The VCSEL technology said to be supplied by Lumentum for the "iPhone 8" has reportedly been offered to Apple as part of an exclusive supply deal, which will cut down on competitive technologies in the short term, with effects of the deal echoing well into 2018.
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