Apple eased Face ID accuracy to boost iPhone X production

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The company wanted so badly to produce more iPhone X units that it told manufacturers to lower the accuracy of its facial recognition system, which it calls Face ID, to speed up production, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID. An article in Nikkei Asian Review is titled "Apple to settle for half its planned iPhone X shipments this year".

"We believe a very large installed base of loyal, yet patient users can't wait to get their hands on iPhone X", HSBC analyst Steven Pelayo wrote in a note to clients.

It works by beaming infrared light onto the face, establish that the user is looking directly at the phone and then flashes 30,000 dots on the face - these dots will help identify if the scan matches the facial data stored on the iPhone X.

Anyway, the Bloomberg report goes on to chronicle the Apple-centric history of what happened with iPhone X production: Apple was struggling to get sufficient components for the phone and needed fewer people to put it together. By relaxing TrueDepth specifications, Apple is hoping to improve production rates since more units can pass quality control requirements. The dot projector is made of two parts: a glass lens and a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser, responsible for flashing the dots. And while Apple has endured delays and supply constraints in the past, those typically have been restricted to certain iPhone colors or less important offerings such as the Apple Watch. While a less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID, the company's decision to downgrade the technology for this model shows how hard it's becoming to create cutting-edge features that consumers are hungry to try. The firm owned 130,349 shares of the iPhone maker's stock after selling 10,594 shares during the quarter. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks' consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10.

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The crux of the problem has been with the dot projector, according to Bloomberg. Not because the product itself is weak - quite the contrary, iPhone X looks like an incredible smartphone - but more due to Apple's inability to meet demand.

Just as an aside, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that he is happy with his iPhone 8 and won't be rushing out to buy the iPhone X on day one.

Apple's reported struggles to manufacture the iPhone X have become a major story, and the latest anonymously sourced report suggests the company made concessions to get enough phones built in time for its November 3 launch.