Other smartphones joining Apple's iPhone X with 3D sensor module delays

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's iPhone X -- the first iPhone with a "TrueDepth" camera -- may not be the only smartphone suffering from problems with 3D sensor production, as shipments for competing products are also reportedly being delayed.




Chinese vendors Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are nominally scheduled to launch 3D sensor-equipped phones in the fourth quarter of 2017, but are having to delay shipments until the first half of 2018 due to low yield rates for modules produced by a Qualcomm/Himax partnership, DigiTimes sources said on Thursday. The people also claimed that Apple has downgraded its December-quarter shipment forecasts for the iPhone X, something consistent with recent analyst estimates.

Three separate reports have claimed that the TrueDepth camera is creating production bottlenecks. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal said that the camera includes two components -- dubbed "Romeo" and "Juliet" -- the former of which is more difficult to make, and hence creating a supply imbalance.

The camera is a major selling point of the iPhone X, enabling the Face ID system for tasks like unlocking the phone and using Apple Pay. It also supports animoji in Messages.

Industry-wide problems could give Apple an edge, since the company is nevertheless planning to ship the iPhone X on Nov. 3, following a preorder period starting Oct. 27. It will however cost at least $999, with a 256-gigabyte model coming in at $1,149.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    From my balcony: Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo. Deny Xiomi and Oppo and refuse Vivo., Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love. [with some credit to Shakespeare]
    pscooter63tmaystompyslprescottsuddenly newtonquadra 610watto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 2 of 37
    From the end of the Digitimes report: "Nevertheless, it would take a longer time for smartphone vendors to establish the relevant application ecosystem, involving firmware, software and apps, needed to support the performance of 3D sensing modules than to support the function of fingerprint recognition or touch control. This will constitute the largest barrier to the incorporation of 3D sensors into smartphones, the sources continued."
    patchythepiratebadmonkRacerhomieXwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 37
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    Tim Cook is adopting an immature technology. 
  • Reply 4 of 37
    tshapitshapi Posts: 288member
    tzeshan said:
    Tim Cook is adopting an immature technology. 
    Not true. Cook is miniaturizing already existing technologies and combining them into one seemless product.  
    StrangeDaysRacerhomieXwatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 5 of 37
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,087member
    tzeshan said:
    Tim Cook is adopting an immature technology. 
    Says who? No doubt Apple execs have been living with this phone for months as their daily driver, and they wouldn't release it if it didn't work perfectly or near-perfectly for them. Oh, and if you weren't adopting that narrative, you'd be saying Apple is "sitting on their asses", "not-innovating", and "late to the party", etc. Touch ID was mocked and fear-mongered when it was unveiled as well, with people coming up with all kinds of scenarios where it "wouldn't work". Face ID will work seamlessly for 99.999% of people. 

    StrangeDaysradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 37
    EngDevEngDev Posts: 76member
    From the end of the Digitimes report: "Nevertheless, it would take a longer time for smartphone vendors to establish the relevant application ecosystem, involving firmware, software and apps, needed to support the performance of 3D sensing modules than to support the function of fingerprint recognition or touch control. This will constitute the largest barrier to the incorporation of 3D sensors into smartphones, the sources continued."
    From what I understand the framework and a number of applications already exist in the Android ecosystem as Tango. The only difference between Tango and ARCore is depth. So the only thing that needs to be done is to develop more apps and grow the ecosystem. The hardware has to exist in order for developers to utilize depth in their ARCore apps. They'll have to start somewhere.

    I would have preferred Apple launching ARKit with depth sensing hardware from the start, but at least they'll have a head start in the AR world in terms of number of apps and size of ecosystem. Of course, the quality of those apps won't be as good without depth. 
  • Reply 7 of 37
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    gatorguyavon b7
  • Reply 8 of 37
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 748member
    What...QUALCOM is having some trouble?  Surprise surprise once again the "over-promise and under-deliver" brigade fails.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 37
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.

    Just couple of examples on top of my mind - Xiaomi supports "Two profiles" in their MIUI, i.e. An user can access TWO facebook accounts, TWO whatsapp accounts and so on, making it easier to share with another family member. I have a friend who purchases Xiaomi phones ONLY because of this feature, which is NOT available in other Android phones. Huawei has their "own" unique dual-camera implementation, much before Apple was even "rumored" to be working on dual camera phones.

    I can go on further, if needed. But that would be besides the point. Reality is - The words "China brand" should NOT be used in a derogatory way.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.
    Sog, you're had a habit of typing before thinking lately IMHO. Look before saying "NEVER" as fact.

    One that immediately comes to mind is Huawei who offered Force Touch before Apple did. 
    Xiaomi was the first to ship an essentially bezel-less smartphone, over a year ago.
    Xiaomi was also the first to debut a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, again over a year ago.
    Vivo has already demoed a working under-screen fingerprint reader. 

    The Chinese are a bit more innovative than you're giving them credit for. Do they copy stuff too? Most assuredly, as do a crap-load of Western companies when they see something successful in a market they can serve. 
    edited October 2017 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 37
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 274member

    What exactly is the TrueDepth camera system?  I’m curious to know if the camera is an off the shelf part that can be bought by any manufacturer or if it is a design created specifically for the iPhone from an Apple specification.  If that is the case then reports of other phone makers running into production problems because of a lack of cameras bears no relationship to Apple’s alleged iPhone X delay.

  • Reply 12 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    I think this is the component that is reported to be in limited supply rather than the camera itself.
    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/09/13/apples-3d-sensing-suppliers-see-mixed-reaction-to.aspx
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Does Apple publish shipment forecasts?
  • Reply 14 of 37
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.
    Sog, you're had a habit of typing before thinking lately IMHO. Look before saying "NEVER" as fact.

    One that immediately comes to mind is Huawei who offered Force Touch before Apple did. 
    Xiaomi was the first to ship an essentially bezel-less smartphone, over a year ago.
    Xiaomi was also the first to debut a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, again over a year ago.
    Vivo has already demoed a working under-screen fingerprint reader. 

    The Chinese are a bit more innovative than you're giving them credit for. Do they copy stuff too? Most assuredly, as do a crap-load of Western companies when they see something successful in a market they can serve. 
    You are distorting the motive of these Chinese companies.  Many of them try to rush a new technology to market once they heard rumor Apple is developing for it.  You know the reason?  They claim Apple copy their technology and sue Apple. Dual camera is an example.  Huawei implemented it Mate 9 ahead of Apple. Its implementation is so stupid. It uses two identical cameras. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,499member
    slurpy said:
    tzeshan said:
    Tim Cook is adopting an immature technology. 
    Says who? No doubt Apple execs have been living with this phone for months as their daily driver, and they wouldn't release it if it didn't work perfectly or near-perfectly for them. Oh, and if you weren't adopting that narrative, you'd be saying Apple is "sitting on their asses", "not-innovating", and "late to the party", etc. Touch ID was mocked and fear-mongered when it was unveiled as well, with people coming up with all kinds of scenarios where it "wouldn't work". Face ID will work seamlessly for 99.999% of people. 

    We need to do what Apple does - ignore the noise.  Apple doesn't let its strategy be dictated by noisy (somewhat) competitors that cry either "me first" or "me too".  Apple has demonstrated that they have the clearest vision on where to go in mobile computing, even though they don't get up on stage at various events and share that us.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,510member
    tzeshan said:
    Tim Cook is adopting an immature technology. 
    It's new and cutting edge and first gen. You can't push the envelope by using old tech. I'm fine with that, but if you aren't get the normal 8. 
    edited October 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,510member

    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.

     Reality is - The words "China brand" should NOT be used in a derogatory way.

    That has yet to be determined. Decades of product history in the US suggests Chinese products are viewed as knockoffs, cheap in build quality, and even dangerous as seen with the toxic pet food and toothpaste scandals. I've only spent a couple of weeks in China in the late '90s, but my sense then was it was a place of lax regulations and enforcement, which enabled the counterfeit culture and the cut corners that resulted in crummy or harmful products. In the US there is definitely a connotative association with "cheap Chinese goods", which is why "made in the USA" is still a selling point over Chinese stuff. The Chinese contract manufacturers can make just about anything but I often find US stuff to be better designed.
    edited October 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,510member

    sog35 said:
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.
    Sog, you're had a habit of typing before thinking lately IMHO. Look before saying "NEVER" as fact.

    One that immediately comes to mind is Huawei who offered Force Touch before Apple did. 
    Xiaomi was the first to ship an essentially bezel-less smartphone, over a year ago.
    Xiaomi was also the first to debut a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, again over a year ago.
    Vivo has already demoed a working under-screen fingerprint reader. 

    The Chinese are a bit more innovative than you're giving them credit for. Do they copy stuff too? Most assuredly, as do a crap-load of Western companies when they see something successful in a market they can serve. 
    Xiaomi is so FULL OF SHIT.

    On their Mi Mix phone they actually use FAKE and DOCTORED SHOTS OF THE PHONE.

    To make the bezels look smaller than they are.  PATHETIC, SHITTY CHINA COMPANY.

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Xiaomi-Mi-Mix-not-edgeless_id87043

    "Don't get us wrong, we do think that this is an impressive phone, but it's a shame that Xiaomi seemingly wants to deceive viewers with its Mi Mix promo material. To see what we're talking about, take a look at the images below, comparing Xiaomi's official renders to some hands-on photos of the Mi Mix."
    Besides which, there is a big fat bezel along the entire bottom of the device. It has a reduced bezel on 3 of the 4 sides only.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 37
    tshapitshapi Posts: 288member
    In reality Qualcomm and Apple are copying intel. With there realsense tech. That was introduced a few years ago and used for Windows hello 
  • Reply 20 of 37
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,189member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    These cheap china companies are so pathetic.

    copy.copy.copy.copy.

    Come on, this is a feature that Apple is working on for 2+ years. If Chinese companies are copying, they would have started working on it ONLY after they came to know that Apple is delivering this feature about a month or 2 back. This could be a case of parallel development, isn't it?  Am I missing something? I am not suggesting that Chinese companies do not copy iPhones (in looks and features). They do that ALL the time. But this does not seem to belong to that category, to me.

    it does not take 2+ years to copy something that is in production.

    These cheap ass china companies get information from china suppliers on what Apple is working on.

    Of course they are copying.

    If not, tell me the last time a china brand came out with an innovation on a smart phone FIRST?  Never.  They just wait for an Apple rumor and then quickly copy the technology.
    LOL! Please don't tempt me on that one.
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