Published: Wed, October 25, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Apple Has Allegedly Reduced FaceID Accuracy to Speed Up iPhone X Production

Apple Has Allegedly Reduced FaceID Accuracy to Speed Up iPhone X Production

Most of the problem lies in the sensor used for the handset's Face ID, as production yields for the dot projector that serves as the backbone of the sensor have been low. While the 256GB iPhone X costs Rs 1,02,000 in India, the same device is priced at $1149 (approx 74,600) and RM 5899 (approx Rs. 90,000) in the U.S and Malaysia respectively.

Just last month, Apple unveiled three smartphones: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. The latter stole the headlines, on account of its hi-tech features like an OLED screen and Face ID.

The flood illuminator beams infrared onto the face, and then the camera uses this to establish whether it's looking at a face. The laser is made of gallium arsenide, a semiconductor material, and the lens is constructed of glass; both are fragile and easily broken.

"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", the representative continued. At one point only about 20 percent of the dot projectors the two companies produced were usable, according to a person familiar with the manufacturing process.

The sensor is so hard to manufacture, LG and Sharp were forced to slow down the production process because only 20 percent of the sensors they built were useable. 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.

Exactly how much the efficiency and performance of Face ID have decreased as a result of the new specifications is unclear. Will the end user even be able to notice? Earlier to this, only the iPhone users with Apple Care protection plan are eligible for the global warranty.

Besides struggling to produce enough 3-D sensors, Apple has suffered from a dearth of suppliers capable of making organic light-emitting diode displays, Bloomberg reported past year. Supply will be short until sometime in early 2018, but now, LG Innotek has managed to get yields above 50%, a goal Sharp is working toward as well. The company is usually unmovable in its demand for precision and high quality for its products. The seven weeks separating the iPhone X announcement from its release date (Nov. 3), indicated those rumors were at least unofficially confirmed.

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