Fingerprint market: from almost zero to a multibillion dollar value in three years

Yole Développement (Yole) is expecting strong evolution of the fingerprint market in the next five years: CAGR  should reach 19% from 2016 to 2022 in volume into the consumer field. Indeed combined with a fast decreasing ASP  due to a strong competitive landscape, a process optimization and numerous emerging technologies, the fingerprint market explodes, especially within the smartphone market: this market segment is increasing from US$2.8 billion in 2016 to US$4.4 billion in 2022.

The fingerprint market is today pushed by OEMs  requiring all-glass design and waterproofing. “This will lead to the emergence of new technologies like CMOS TFT  and ultrasonic detection as new ways to detect fingerprint with a high level of integration”, comments Guillaume Girardin, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole. ”These new technologies will clearly reshape the competitive landscape.”

Fingerprint Sensor Application & Technologies report is a relevant combination of the best of Yole Développement’s biometric sensor industry knowledge. Each year, the company regularly participates in a selection of industry conferences and tradeshows worldwide to collect market and technology data and meet leaders of the industry. Yole’s analysts have close relations with key players. Yole’s report is a synthesis of 2016 fingerprint sensor industry’s status in a thorough manner.

The rapid-changing fingerprint technology market has expanded impressively into the consumer space – now shipment volumes will benefit from a 19% CAGR through to 2022, when the market will be worth US$4.7 billion.

Apple introduced the iPhone 5s in 2013, after acquiring Authentec a year earlier. Since then, fingerprint sensors have been massively adopted, and the volumes of sensors shipped into the consumer market have grown incredibly. “At first, the sensors were a convenience and protection feature for unlocking phones”, explains Guillaume Girardin. “However, they are now shifting into a security feature for online identification and mobile payment in an increasing number of smartphones.”

From 23 million units in 2013, 689 million fingerprint sensors for smartphones were sold in 2016. This is an incredible 210% CAGR between 2013 and 2016. The 2016-2022 timeframe will see a more reasonable, but still impressive growth.

Fingerprint sensing is becoming a mandatory feature on every smartphone, adding a lot of value. However such an increase in volume is always followed by strong cost pressure, and this is what has happened over the last three years. The average cost of a fingerprint sensor has decreased from around US$5 in 2013 to US$3 in 2016, and even less for low-end technologies. And the pressure hasn’t gone away. “Current technologies have now reached maturity, and are threatened by new technologies, which need lower cost to gain momentum”, analyzes Guillaume Girardin. And this is the case for ultrasonic detection, for instance.

Over the past four years, consumer fingerprint sensor market evolution has been driven by the introduction of the biometry in the smartphone business. Revenues were a few tens of millions of dollars in 2010, mainly from the laptop business. Then, the overall consumer market skyrocketed, shipping 800 million units in 2016, worth US$2.9 billion.

Fingerprint Sensor Applications and Technologies report is a brand-new technology& market analysis from Yole, the “More than Moore” market and strategy research company. This 1st edition targets fingerprint sensors used for consumer applications. Indeed Yole’s analysts quantified the market for each technology and each company’s yearly shipments. Market metrics are detailed for each sensors. And each application is positioned according to performance level and corresponding market size. A detailed description of this report is available on, MEMS & Sensors reports section.