We reported yesterday that Taiwanese electronics manufacturers were aligning themselves with Apple and other companies in order to fight back against Samsung. Now comes word that production for the rumored fingerprint sensor that some say is set for Apple’s next-generation iPhone could rely heavily on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.
While concrete evidence of Apple’s supposed fingerprint reader has yet to surface, many market watchers, including the well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, believe the component is likely to make its way into the so-called “iPhone 5S.”
In a report obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo notes that Apple is expected to rely mainly on a Taiwan-based supply chain to build the rumored fingerprint sensor.
Apple acquired security firm AuthenTec in 2012, and ever since, analysts have speculated how the company’s technology could fit in with Apple’s iOS devices. Most believe that Apple will put AuthenTec’s fingerprint biometrics into a future iPhone, most likely under the device’s home button.
Kuo is one of the analysts that believe Apple will incorporate the fingerprint technology into its next handset, and he says the company is likely to use a Taiwanese supply chain in an attempt to distance itself farther from current component supplier and rival Samsung.
The analyst points out that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) would be a good foundry choice for Apple, as the firm previously made silicon for AuthenTec. TSMC has long been rumored as the producer of Apple’s next-generation A-series SoC.
Kuo also pegs another Tiawanese firm, Xintec as a candidate for handling wafer-level packaging. TSMC is Xintec’s largest shareholder.
Kuo believes Taiwanese-based semiconductor maker and assembly specialist ASE is a good pick to finish sensor builds. He does say that some of that business may wind up with Japanese-based Sharp.