BARCELONA, Spain ― South Korean tech giant LG Electronics is looking to introduce a fingerprint sensor on its new flagship smartphone G4 in a bid to jump into the red-hot mobile payments market, according to multiple sources on Wednesday.
“LG Electronics has recently decided to deploy a fingerprint sensor on its next flagship smartphone and the scanner will be placed at the back of the device,” said an industry source close to the matter, on condition of anonymity.
He predicted that the sensor could be embedded in the power button on the back ― a unique feature of LG smartphones.
LG officials denied the alleged plan to adopt a fingerprint sensor in the coming smartphone.
LG has long considered the adoption of a fingerprint reader on smartphones since the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, which came equipped with a biometric module for fingerprint scanning for the first time globally in 2013.
The Seoul-headquartered firm, however, has refrained from packing a fingerprint module into its handsets mostly due its cost effectiveness and given that the technology was still in its infancy.
“LG has been left behind in the race for fintech (portmanteau of finance and technology) as it has continued to postpone the adoption of fingerprint technology,” another source said.
“With more global smartphone-makers incorporating a fingerprint reader, which is a security measure for mobile payments, LG may have had few options left but to deploy the authentication sensor for its next marquee smartphone,” he added.
LG was initially planning to install the fingerprint reader on the G3 last year, but ditched the move at the last minute and used a pattern-based security solution called the Knock-on code.
At a press meeting Tuesday in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress trade show, the company’s new mobile chief Cho Ju-no said the company would unveil the G4 within the second quarter of this year and another premium handset in the latter half of the year.
By Kim Young-won, Korea Herald correspondent