Android phone makers to not launch 3D sensing models until 3Q18

The world’s first Android-based smartphone with 3D facial recognition technology is unlikely to hit the market until the third quarter of 2018 due to insufficient capability to integrate related hardware and software at 3D sensing solution providers, according to Digitimes Research.While the 3D sensing module jointly developed by Qualcomm, Himax Technologies and Truly Opto-electronics is believed to be the most mature 3D sensing solution currently available in the market, the limit of using only Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 CPU in the module has deterred the top-five Android phone makers, with the exception of Xiaomi Technology, from using this module for their high-end models.

Samsung Electronics and Huawei obviously do not want to use Qualcomm’s chips on their high-end models, and instead both plan to develop their own 3D algorithms. Therefore, the two vendors will not be the first Android phone makers to launch models with 3D sensing technology, Digitimes Research believes.

For the sake of using its own AI chips or acceleration unit, while controlling algorithms by itself, Samsung is unlikely to launch smartphones with 3D sensing until 2019.

Although Huawei has gathered its internal laboratories, HiSilicon Technologies and third-party developers to develop related algorithms and other solutions to integrate hardware and software products, it has yet to incorporate 3D sensors into its latest flagship P20 series products.

Xiaomi originally planned to launch a high-end model, generally believed to be the Xiaomi Mi 7, that will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip packed with a 3D sensing in the first half of 2018. However, such a plan is likely to be delayed to the third quarter of 2018 due to a low successful rate for facial recognition caused by slow adjustment processes of related software at Qualcomm, Digitimes Research has found.