Will Samsung release a Touch ID competitor in 2014?

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Samsung, with a 64-bit Galaxy 5 reportedly coming in Q1, and a 20MP smartphone camera to follow later in the year. Samsung’s intentions with fingerprint recognition technology aren’t so clear, however.

A Samsung official told the Korea Herald that the company is “not yet developing” fingerprint sensor technology back in September, but analysts remain bullish that the handset maker will incorporate fingerprint sensors into its product lines by the second half of 2014. But in an interview with Reuters yesterday, Johan Carlstrom, CEO of Swedish identity technology maker Fingerprint, said that he believes Samsung could release as many as two smartphones next year with fingerprint sensor tech next year. “I think at least seven or eight [handset manufacturers] will launch a phone with a touch sensor in 2014,” Johan told Reuters.

Of course, Fingerprint is looking to sell their technology to those exact same handset manufacturers, so their claims to the inevitability of industry-wide touch sensor support should be taken with a grain of salt. But a recent IHS projection put the number of smartphones with integrated fingerprint sensors at 525 million by 2017 (IHS also expects Samsung to release fingerprint-enabled smartphones in 2014), and the practical benefits of the technology for corporate security and mobile payments is obvious. A Samsung competitor to Apple’s Touch ID may only be a matter of time.

Do you want a Samsung smartphone with fingerprint recognition technology in 2014? If so, why?