Rumor: Apple dials back Face ID requirements to improve iPhone X production, still better ...

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
A new report claims that Apple has loosened up testing requirements for the Face ID sensor array to improve yields of both the dot projector and the lenses associated with the system -- but given the timing of the iPhone X unveil and a white paper about the security of the feature, the technology is still 20 times less prone to false positive identification than Touch ID.




A report published on Wednesday morning by Bloomberg points to Apple's Face ID-related hardware, including lenses and the VCSEL lasers needed to drive the system being at the core of any possible iPhone X supply constraint. The account claims that problems began early, with Finisar failing to meet Apple's specifications for the laser component, cutting Apple's suppliers back to Lumentum and II-VI.

The iPhone X is "an aggressive design," according to sources familiar with the matter cited in the report, with a "very aggressive schedule." As part of the component supply problems, according to more unnamed sources, Foxconn reportedly pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X production line.

It is not clear where or how Bloomberg sourced the data used for the report, or how accurate it is. Assuming the claims are accurate, it is also not clear when the decision was made.

Given relatively long production times needed for VCSEL components used for Face ID, Apple in all likelihood would have needed to make any decision on test parameters before the Sept. 12 reveal to make a November ship date. If so, that means that the one in a million accuracy figure cited for Face ID in a white paper discussing security of the feature remains legitimate.

Apple notes that Touch ID has a one in 50,000 accuracy rating -- which was more than sufficient to court financial services for Apple Pay.

The report claims that Sharp is working to bring the yield for infrared dot projectors to above 50 percent, with LG Innotek already exceeding that number. Apple is also reportedly working with Himax Technologies to increase the number of lenses available from the previous sole-supplier Heptagon.

Apple's iPhone X features a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display, the A11 Bionic processor, and the apparently hard-to-produce 3D-sensing TrueDepth camera at the core of the Face ID technology. The device ships Nov. 3, and starts at $999 without any promotions.

The TrueDepth camera system maps the geometry of the user's face using "advanced technologies," which consists of an infrared camera, a 7-megapixel camera sensor, a flood illuminator, and a dot projector. Confirming the attention of the user by detecting the direction of their gaze, Face ID then uses neural networks to match and prevent spoofing attempts to unlock the phone, with the system automatically adapting to changes in the user's appearance over time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    I think this is the 3rd negative report on the X from Bloomberg. Somebody wants the X to fail.
    teejay2012igorskyjax44jony0
  • Reply 2 of 39
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Increasing the likelihood of flawed sensors on the assembly line to improve production rates?
     Sounds fishy.
    igorsky
  • Reply 3 of 39
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 402member
    Still better than Touch ID? Why, because it's still 1:1,000,000 vs. 1:50,000? In practice that's not significant. Is it more practical than Touch ID, that is the question, and that remains to be seen.
    teejay2012SoliAvieshekigorsky
  • Reply 4 of 39
    I don't really believe these articles, not because they never cite a sources and are built from rumours, nor because they are historically wrong, but simply because their own story timeline doesn't make sense and they seemingly have no idea how mass production works.

    From the article:
    "As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays."

    So according to the article Apple knew months ago that there were production issues, but did nothing about that and then only chose to dial back the spec of a bottleneck component at the 11th hour? That's bullshit.

    Then later in the article:
    "About a month ago, Foxconn Technology Group pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X production line."

    So according to the article, despite Apple knowing about production issues for months, that as recently as a month ago production capacity was still being over estimated. That's also bullshit.

    To take this report at face value means that Apple just sat by and watched for months while production capacity wasn't being met, even though they've been working on the Face ID tech for 5+ years and the iPhone is their most commercially important product.

    There are plenty of useful production reasons for the November launch other than working around a strained component supply. The later launch of the X means that Apple can distribute the shared components of the 8 and X to produce the optimal number of units of each. The factories which build iPhones are running at capacity during iPhone manufacturing, bringing the 8 and the X to the market at the same time is an untenable one-time production boost, especially so because many of the skilled workers are needed for both the 8 and the X.
    randominternetpersonpscooter63StrangeDayswigbyjay-tRayz2016igorskyradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 5 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Apple had a very high end version they had to stop making, Siri kept saying "I see dead people..."  /kidding
    oneof52
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Someone posted the following comment on MacRumors. Sums it up perfectly.
    This is the perfect news article for the Apple haters.
    - We aren’t going to be able to look at sensors in a phone (for example, from an iFixit teardown) and spot any irregularities.
    - We aren’t going to be able to take early production iPhones and compare them with later versions to verify if there are any differences in the sensors.
    -We won’t be able to extensively test newer and later iPhones with enough faces to be able to verify that one sensor is more or less reliable, accurate or faster than another.
    In short, there is absolutely no possibility anyone will ever be able to verify this rumor. In spite of this people will be able to claim that we’re getting an inferior version of FaceID (the signature feature of the iPhone X and the future of authentication for Apple) in our phones. They will follow this up by transferring the burden of proof to others asking them to “prove a negative” (prove Apple didn’t do this). Since nobody can provide any proof they can claim victory.
    I don’t think I could have come up with a better rumor if I tried. It’s basically perfect.


    llamaSolimuthuk_vanalingamcornchipigorskyjony0
  • Reply 7 of 39
    I don't really believe these articles, not because they never cite a sources and are built from rumours, nor because they are historically wrong, but simply because their own story timeline doesn't make sense and they seemingly have no idea how mass production works.

    From the article:
    "As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays."

    So according to the article Apple knew months ago that there were production issues, but did nothing about that and then only chose to dial back the spec of a bottleneck component at the 11th hour? That's bullshit.

    Then later in the article:
    "About a month ago, Foxconn Technology Group pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X production line."

    So according to the article, despite Apple knowing about production issues for months, that as recently as a month ago production capacity was still being over estimated. That's also bullshit.

    To take this report at face value means that Apple just sat by and watched for months while production capacity wasn't being met, even though they've been working on the Face ID tech for 5+ years and the iPhone is their most commercially important product.

    There are plenty of useful production reasons for the November launch other than working around a strained component supply. The later launch of the X means that Apple can distribute the shared components of the 8 and X to produce the optimal number of units of each. The factories which build iPhones are running at capacity during iPhone manufacturing, bringing the 8 and the X to the market at the same time is an untenable one-time production boost, especially so because many of the skilled workers are needed for both the 8 and the X.
    “Fall” began in September, less than five weeks ago. “Early fall” and “about a month ago” are the same thing.
    edited October 2017 gatorguy
  • Reply 8 of 39
    First word of the title says it all: "Rumor". Doesn't this rag have an editor who can ax these "stories"?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    I'm not even sure I want to attempt getting an iPhone X at launch. Seems like it is primed for lots of hardware and software bugs; advanced product + aggressive production timeline = high potential for issues.
    edited October 2017 vlscout
  • Reply 10 of 39
    Just for the sake of argument, assume that Bloomberg’s report is 100% accurate. Apple promised 1-in-1 million accuracy during the launch of iPhone X. That continues to be its standard (=20x50,000), AFTER all of the events reported by Bloomberg. So evidently Bloomberg is reporting on things that happened prior to the launch date. The iPhone X going on sale this week is not as good as an iPhone X the world was never told about.

    Those 200 workers pulled off the assembly line are responsible for a very small proportion of iPhone X production. Altogether, the iPhone X line may include 200,000 workers or more.
    edited October 2017 radarthekat
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Well if fake news Bloomberg said it then i will definitely buy 3 instead of 1.
    unphocuscornchip
  • Reply 12 of 39
    Those 200 workers could have been pulled off the line for re-education. /s

    There, rumor fixed.
    kingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 13 of 39
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,566member
    I think this is the 3rd negative report on the X from Bloomberg. Somebody wants the X to fail.
    Ex rumor monger Mark Gurman heads Bloomberg’s coverage, and it’s always been apparent he had an axe to grind with apple for some reason, possible for having some stories that failed to pan out. Gruber seems to know more and snipes back at him on a regular basis. 
    cornchipigorskyjax44
  • Reply 14 of 39
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,566member
    I don't really believe these articles, not because they never cite a sources and are built from rumours, nor because they are historically wrong, but simply because their own story timeline doesn't make sense and they seemingly have no idea how mass production works.

    From the article:
    "As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays."

    So according to the article Apple knew months ago that there were production issues, but did nothing about that and then only chose to dial back the spec of a bottleneck component at the 11th hour? That's bullshit.

    Then later in the article:
    "About a month ago, Foxconn Technology Group pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X production line."

    So according to the article, despite Apple knowing about production issues for months, that as recently as a month ago production capacity was still being over estimated. That's also bullshit.

    To take this report at face value means that Apple just sat by and watched for months while production capacity wasn't being met, even though they've been working on the Face ID tech for 5+ years and the iPhone is their most commercially important product.

    There are plenty of useful production reasons for the November launch other than working around a strained component supply. The later launch of the X means that Apple can distribute the shared components of the 8 and X to produce the optimal number of units of each. The factories which build iPhones are running at capacity during iPhone manufacturing, bringing the 8 and the X to the market at the same time is an untenable one-time production boost, especially so because many of the skilled workers are needed for both the 8 and the X.
    “Fall” began in September, less than five weeks ago. “Early fall” and “about a month ago” are the same thing.
    Yes but the article suggests Apple knew about it earlier than a month ago (early fall) and that it was only then (early fall) that they made a decision. The line “clearer than ever” is what implies this, as this suggests it was observed earlier and only achieved critical mass for the decision at this time (early fall). 

    Thats is the part he was calling BS on, since that’s the Nth hour. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 15 of 39
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    dotcomcto said:
    I'm not even sure I want to attempt getting an iPhone X at launch. Seems like it is primed for lots of hardware and software bugs; advanced product + aggressive production timeline = high potential for issues.
    You've just described every new product release including iPhone 8. People are complaining about iOS 11 so why would iPhone X be any different since it will be running iOS 11? The point is that every release is new so when is this magical day supposed to arrive when all hardware and software will be stable? I've been buying computers for 40 years and am still waiting for that day myself.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,566member

    dotcomcto said:
    I'm not even sure I want to attempt getting an iPhone X at launch. Seems like it is primed for lots of hardware and software bugs; advanced product + aggressive production timeline = high potential for issues.
     congratulations you’ve just described every new product launch in history. as a techie with a warranty i’m fine with cutting edge. 
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 17 of 39
    I don't really believe these articles, not because they never cite a sources and are built from rumours, nor because they are historically wrong, but simply because their own story timeline doesn't make sense and they seemingly have no idea how mass production works.

    From the article:
    "As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays."

    So according to the article Apple knew months ago that there were production issues, but did nothing about that and then only chose to dial back the spec of a bottleneck component at the 11th hour? That's bullshit.

    Then later in the article:
    "About a month ago, Foxconn Technology Group pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X production line."

    So according to the article, despite Apple knowing about production issues for months, that as recently as a month ago production capacity was still being over estimated. That's also bullshit.

    To take this report at face value means that Apple just sat by and watched for months while production capacity wasn't being met, even though they've been working on the Face ID tech for 5+ years and the iPhone is their most commercially important product.

    There are plenty of useful production reasons for the November launch other than working around a strained component supply. The later launch of the X means that Apple can distribute the shared components of the 8 and X to produce the optimal number of units of each. The factories which build iPhones are running at capacity during iPhone manufacturing, bringing the 8 and the X to the market at the same time is an untenable one-time production boost, especially so because many of the skilled workers are needed for both the 8 and the X.
    “Fall” began in September, less than five weeks ago. “Early fall” and “about a month ago” are the same thing.
    Funny counting you have over there. Today is October 25, early fall is 2 months ago now (i.e 8 weeks ago) even so, the statement also infers that Apple knew for longer than this period (and they would have to since the production ramping would have made this apparent.) .. but numbers aside, the problem is the same - the article is implying that this change in the sensor was incurred less than a month ago, because production capacity was still being removed from the iPhone X assembly line. That's simply not feasible.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member

    I think this is the 3rd negative report on the X from Bloomberg. Somebody wants the X to fail.
    Ex rumor monger Mark Gurman heads Bloomberg’s coverage, and it’s always been apparent he had an axe to grind with apple for some reason, possible for having some stories that failed to pan out. Gruber seems to know more and snipes back at him on a regular basis. 
    Mark used to balance positive rumors with negative rumors before Bloomberg. I'm sure Bloomberg has a mandate to run negative iPhone stories just prior to big release dates kind of like Apple releasing new products just before the holidays. It creates a solid revenue bump that investors can count on every season.

     That's not a conspiracy theory on my part so much as it's common business practice in the media and publishing industries.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,169member
    I think this is the 3rd negative report on the X from Bloomberg. Somebody wants the X to fail.
    Ex rumor monger Mark Gurman heads Bloomberg’s coverage, and it’s always been apparent he had an axe to grind with apple for some reason, possible for having some stories that failed to pan out. Gruber seems to know more and snipes back at him on a regular basis. 
    ...or at least Gruber would like to THINK he knows more. 

    Whatever happened with that new Apple Watch form-factor he said was going to be revealed a couple months ago? Or that the iPhone X was going to begin at $1200? 
    cornchip
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Funny counting you have over there. Today is October 25, early fall is 2 months ago now (i.e 8 weeks ago) even so, the statement also infers that Apple knew for longer than this period (and they would have to since the production ramping would have made this apparent.) .. but numbers aside, the problem is the same - the article is implying that this change in the sensor was incurred less than a month ago, because production capacity was still being removed from the iPhone X assembly line. That's simply not feasible.
    Funny counting indeed. The earliest (first) day of fall was Friday, September 22. That's less than five weeks ago, a little over a month.
    cornchip
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