Apple, in its mission to speed up iPhone X production, allegedly told suppliers to downgrade the accuracy of the Face ID facial recognition system.
Apple has denied the claim, though whether it is true or not may not matter, as iPhone X supply is still expected to be extremely limited upon launch.
Apple Allegedly Downgrades Face ID Accuracy
The allegations were made by a Bloomberg report, claiming that in order to have enough iPhone X units in time for the holiday shopping season, the company quietly allowed suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the Face ID feature. This would have made it easier to manufacture the components related to the facial recognition system, leading to more iPhone X units rolling off the assembly line.
According to the report, Apple lowered some of the Face ID specifications, which reduced the time needed to test the system's components. Bloomberg wrote that in its downgraded form, it will still be more accurate than the Touch ID fingerprint recognition system, which offers a person other than a user only a one in 50,000 chance to unlock the iPhone. When the Face ID feature was demonstrated during the iPhone X announcement in September, executives said that there's only one in a million chance for that to happen with the new technology.
Apple, in response, has strongly denied the allegations, stating that they are "completely false" and that it still expects the Face ID feature "to be the new gold standard for facial authentication." While the aggressive production schedule for the iPhone X is likely true due to the multiple reports on Apple's manufacturing problems for the smartphone, the company insists that the Face ID feature has not been downgraded.
iPhone X In Trouble
The accuracy of the iPhone X Face ID feature can only be tested once we get our hands on the smartphone. That, however, may prove to be a problem.
Downgraded Face ID or not, various sources have claimed that the iPhone X supply will be severely limited well into next year. A recent report has given a number for just how bad the problem is, claiming that there will only be 20 million iPhone X units shipped this year. This is just half of Apple's planned 40 million units of the iPhone X for 2017.
Bloomberg's report strongly clashes with Apple's denial of the allegations. Whatever the truth may be, though, Apple customers who are looking forward to the iPhone X might have to wait a long while before they are able to purchase the smartphone if they are not able to get in front of the line once preorders open on Oct. 27.