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Biometric Smartphone Market Explodes in 2016 as Prices Plunge

Posted: February 6th, 2017 | Author:

500 models from 87 vendors, 120 for $150 or Less 

Acuity Market Intelligence’s latest research finds that 87 smartphone vendors introduced 346 biometric smartphones in the past year. This brings the total number introduced since 2013 to 559, more than double the 200 models Acuity reported a year ago and a ten-fold increase in two years. The proliferation of biometric smartphones is extraordinary. This unprecedented growth supports Acuity’s assertion that within two years, biometrics will be as ubiquitous on smartphones as high resolution cameras are today.

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

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. At 7% model share, ZTE is in the top spot, followed by Huawei at 6.2%, and Lenovo, Xiaomi, and Coolpad each at about 4%. Samsung falls just below this threshold offering 3.4% of the biometric smartphone models. Another 22 vendors each offer at least 1% of the total number of models with the remaining 59 vendors collectively offering 35% of currently available biometric smartphone models

Though Android is the principal operating system powering 97% of all biometric smartphone models, Apple remains the dominant player capturing 45%-unit market share of the nearly one billion biometric smartphones in use today with just a handful of iPhone models.

In addition, biometric smartphone prices have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of a biometric smartphone decreased from $849 in Q1 2013 to $276 in Q4 2016. There are now 120 sub-$150 models on the market at an average price of $116, up from just 28 a year ago at an average price of $127

Acuity believes 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.

Meanwhile, the Indian Government recently called on domestic handset manufactures to develop $30 smartphones. Integrating biometrics into smartphones at this price point would not only transform the Indian market of one billion, but would pave the way for mass replacement of traditional handsets across Asia, Africa, and the rest of the developing economies creating a globally available, universal biometric authentication platform.

Given these powerful market forces, 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.

Details available in the “Biometric Smartphone Update” spreadsheet which provides detailed information on every biometrics smartphone on the market including brand, model, biometric mode, sensor, OS, price, availability, and links to detailed specifications and reviews. Preview at

“The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report” provides unit and revenue forecasts for biometric smartphones, tablets, and wearables, and biometric apps and payment. Preview at .

Filed under: Biometrics, Market Insight, Market Research, Mobile Biometrics, Mobility, Smart Devices, Smartphones, Uncategorized | No Comments »

WEBINAR REPLAY: Mobile Revolution 2.0: Biometrics, Smartphones & IoT

Posted: March 28th, 2016 | Author:

We are at the start of a new revolution in mobile biometrics. The latest research from Acuity Market Intelligence shows that biometric smartphones are officially mainstream. Meanwhile the growing prominence of the Internet of Things is stoking the demand for new innovations in mobile authentication. Mobile biometrics have changed the face of payments, and now they are poised to further evolve the enterprise, consumer identity and the Internet itself as we move beyond the password. Listen to our experts discuss this fascinating topic.

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Retailers remain skeptical of ApplePay. Really?

Posted: June 5th, 2015 | Author:

The top reasons retailers cited for not accepting Apple Pay were insufficient customer demand, a lack of access to data generated in Apple Pay transactions and the cost of technology to facilitate the payments. Some merchants said they were holding out because they plan to participate in a new mobile payment system to be launched by a coalition of retailers later this year. applepay

Yes, Apple Pay usage it limited because consumers can’t remember to use it because the behavior has not yet been ingrained because there are not enough retailers offering Apple Pay.  This doesn’t mean Apply Pay is not fantastic. It truly is. If I could use Apple Pay everywhere I shop, I would. So convenient. But I can’t…at least for now.

How amazing is it to walk into a store with a phone that has my shopping list, coupons, and credit cards inside it. No bulky purse or wallet. Now, if I could just get my drivers license in there  – as my insurance card already is – and my car’s key fob, life would much AWESOME!

OK, so it takes time. But if retailers are waiting for CurrentC, I would suggest they not hold their collective breath.

All US retailers have to upgrade to EMV (chip and pin) readers anyway by Oct 2015 or be responsible for card fraud. Why not spend just a little more and get an NFC reader. For small business with a few  card readers, it is not a major investment and big businesses have to make the EMV investment anyway. So, why would any business make the decision not to go ahead and just get NFC enabled card readers at this point?

Whole Foods seems quite pleased with Apple Pay which is now accounting “for 2 percent of its sales dollars as of March” and this figure is expected to continue to rise. “Shoppers are really enjoying the speed, convenience and security of Apple Pay.”

But for other retailers and consumers, Apple has yet to answer the question “what is in it for us if we use Apple Pay?” said Alberto Jimenez, program director for mobile payments at IBM, which provides technology to mobile wallet makers and retailers.

What’s in it for you? The same thing that was in it when you upgraded from cash registers to computers, dial-up to cable internet connections, entering purchased data manually to bar code readers. It is call the future and it now knocking at your door. It is faster, more convenient, and just pain inevitable.

The idea that the skepticism, or  reluctance, of retailers is going to prevent payment innovation, be it Apple Pay, Andriod Pay, Samsung Pay, etc., is absurd. They can hold out if they choose but they would be much better off upgrading now and influencing the development of the technology and how they can work with Apple, Google, etc to leverage the opportunity. After all, once the competition sets in, these payment enablers may be much more open to incorporating loyalty programs, finding a privacy enabled way to  track sales, etc.

Dear Retailers, don’t be luddites. Get on board folks, the payment world is changing. Why not get in early and use it to your advantage!

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Wishing You and Yours a Bright and Bountiful 2015!

Posted: January 1st, 2015 | Author:


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A Very MERRY CHRISTMAS for Mobile Biometrics!

Posted: December 26th, 2014 | Author:

The 2014 Holiday Season may be the brightest ever for the biometrics industry as the long anticipated floodgates for consumer biometrics may finally be open. Acuity forecasts that intensifying demand for smart phones, tablets, and wearable mobile devices that incorporate biometrics will drive a global market of 2.5 billion users with nearly 4.8 billion biometric devices by 2020.

The market for biometrically enabled mobile devices will surge over the next five years. Apple’s launch into biometrics and payments will be followed by similar efforts by Samsung and others, and within 3 years, biometrics will become a standard feature on smart phones as well as other mobile devices

Wearables including smart watches, Google’s re-envisioned Google Glass, along with form factors yet to be seen, will burst onto the market and fundamentally change the way we think about and manage communication, payments, personal transactions, healthcare, and social interaction. All of these devices will include embedded biometrics as well as options to download software-based biometric apps.

Acuity projects that embedded fingerprint sensors will initially dominate the market becoming standard in smart phones and tablets by 2017, generating more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues. Emerging biometric sensors that rely on an individuals pulse, skin texture, or other yet unknown metrics will evolve rapidly, especially on wearables. This is in addition to biometric apps, such as facial or eye based recognition, that will leverage the camera or other built-in device features.

For more insight into the mobile biometric marketplace, review Acuity’s Mobile Market Analysis and download Acuity’s Mobile Market Briefs: “The ABC’s of Mobility: Apple, Biometrics and the promise of Consumer Centric privacy” and “The Center of Gravity Has Shifted“.

For a comprehensive view of the marketplace and detailed forecasts, pre-order  “The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report”.  The report will be available in January 2015 and can be ordered now for a 20% discount.

Filed under: Biometrics, e/mCommerce, Market Forecast, Market Research, Mobility, NFC, Payments, Uncategorized | No Comments »