It seems that things don’t work for Apple days ahead of the official launch of iPhone X – the tenth anniversary smartphone. Although Apple decided to go with iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in the first phase but folks didn’t pay that much interest for both the devices what was expected at the time of launch. Later on, the company decided to vanish 256 GB variant of iPhone 7 in order to boost the sale of iPhone 8. That doesn’t work too.
Earlier, media reports claimed that Apple was facing issues in finding vendors to provide 3D sensors for Face ID at large scale but now it appears that company has somehow resolved this issue ‘cleverly’. Bloomberg reported that Apple has secretly asked its suppliers to reduce the accuracy of face recognition technology to speed up iPhone X production.
3D Sensor – The Main Issue
If we single out the main issue Apple is facing at the moment, it would be the complex 3D sensor consisting of a dot projector, an infrared camera and a flood illuminator. It is the flood illuminator that helps camera to detect a face by using infrared light. The projector then flashes 30,000 dots onto the face to recognise and match the one stored in memory whether to unlock the home screen or not. Apple is facing trouble in making enough of these complex modules that combine to form a dot projector.
Meanwhile, Apple broke down its deal with a California-based company Finisar that allegedly failed to meet the required specifications of these lasers; further slowed down the production process. Othe major suppliers including LG, Innotek, and Sharp were already working slowly to meet the required level of precision. But now, with Apple’s decision of reportedly compromising on the accuracy of Face ID, these suppliers to meet their target soon enough.
2 to 3 Million Units Landmark is Not Enough
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from KGI securities, revealed that Apple may achieve the milestone of 2 to 3 million units before the launch of iPhone X on November 3rd. However, these numbers would not be enough to meet the demand of the device. Apple has finally found a solution to its problem so there will be no production shortage expected any longer.
Apple declared the Bloomberg report as ‘false’ in the latest statement,
“Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can’t wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.
Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.”
However, the second paragraph of the statement points towards the issue in sight,
“To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, according to a different person with knowledge of the process. As a result, it took less time to test completed modules, one of the major sticking points, the person said.
It’s not clear how much the new specs will reduce the technology’s efficacy. At the phone’s official unveiling in September, executives boasted that there was a one in a million chance that an interloper could defeat Face ID to unlock a phone. Even downgraded, it will probably still be far more accurate than Touch ID, where the odds of someone other than the owner of a phone being able to unlock it are one in 50,000.”