With the amount of hype surrounded with the soon to be released iPhone X, there were speculations that it won’t be easy to get one for many people because of the high demand. The main difficulty persisted in producing a quality phone along with sophisticated tech like the face recognition in large quantity.
Much of the speculation involved was confined to Apple taking a stumble but Apple just quietly did something else ; Apple asked the accuracy of the face recognition to be reduced to an extent that it will speed up the manufacturing of the phone, as per the people who know about the current situation.
With just a week away from its official launch, its hard to say if this would actually work in their way. According to the analysts, even after this, there might still be an initial shortage of iPhone X’s to cater to the demand.
According to the Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities who had predicted around a total 40 million units of iPhone X to be made available for the public but he too, in recent times has changed his view and a 2-3 million on the launch day and 25 to 30 million units around the holiday quarter are the current numbers. Just for the sake of a comparison, Apple sales during the last year in the same period were involved 78 million units, though these also included all the models.
Apple is known to be rather demanding relying on their suppliers and contract manufacturers just to have an edge over other brands in the market. Yes, this is true that even a less accurate than before FaceID would still be accurate than the TouchID we were used to, but for a company like Apple to compromise a bit on this heavily depicts how difficult it is in these days to put forward a game changing technology and its production.
According to Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller, “Bloomberg’s claim that it reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed; it continues to be one in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.”
This is not the only time when Apple had to face shortages or delays, but these were usually limited to a certain iPhone color in high demand or accessories like the Apple Watch. Now this supply constraint because of the Facial Recognition would hamper to an extent the possible sales, Apple could have had because of the 10th Anniversary iPhone, if it were not for production delays.
When Apple knew that it would be too tedious a task to implement this, it should have at least given the suppliers some extra time, instead of the typical two year lead time. This meant that Apple was unable to take into account the fragility and difficult behind putting together the components, and thus underestimated the time. This itself is an explanation on why time constraint was present for the suppliers who had to set up their factories accordingly.
As of now, its not evident how much the new change in specs would affect the FaceID. Initially there was just a one in million chance that an interloper would be able to unlock the phone. Even with some relaxations, it would still be better off with the FaceID since TouchID was prone to be unlocked by another person to around 1 in 50000.
In short, even when you didn’t expect a company this big to compromise, we all just realised that this feature-hungry advanced generation is soon going to give phone manufacturers a slight headache when it comes to production.