Apple denies it reduced accuracy of Face ID to aid iPhone X production

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
In a statement, Apple has directly refuted claims that Face ID has been compromised by changes in how it certifies parts for the Face ID system.




The statement, issued to AppleInsider and other media venues on Wednesday morning takes Bloomberg to task for reporting suggesting that Face ID sensor sourcing has resulted in a less accurate product.

The statement in its entirety says:
Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can't wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that's incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven't changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.

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 statement does not refute that testing changes have been made -- only that any changes possibly made do not impact the accuracy of the system -- already significantly less prone to erroneous identification than Touch ID.

A report on Wednesday morning made the claim that Apple had lowered testing standards for the Face ID sensor system to improve yields. AppleInsider noted the report, and also made the observation that Face ID was likely not reduced in accuracy because of any rumored shift.

The iPhone X is "an aggressive design," according to sources familiar with the matter cited in Bloomberg's earlier 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.

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 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,098member
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    unphocusrepressthismuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 69
    Should I believe Apple that has over 10 years experience in making mobile phones and has the trust of millions of people or should I believe failing Bloomberg that has a consistent record of lying to the public. It’s not that difficult a choice in my opinion.
    anton zuykovunphocuscaliradarthekatjbdragongilly33StrangeDaysGG1jay-tSpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 69
    It’s great to see Apple make this statement. 
    The media has been completely out of control in “reporting” rumors on iPhone X.  I rarely read the news on Apple.  99% seems made up nonsense.  
    caliradarthekatjbdragongilly33StrangeDaysjay-tJWSCrepressthis[Deleted User]watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 69
    Ah, so Apple finally has started to address attempts of stock price manipulation.
    edited October 2017 capasicumtrashman69JWSCrepressthisjony0macky the mackymuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 69

    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe?
    If the rumor had come out of Gizmodo or CNET, it would be easy to dismiss. But because Bloomberg is highly credible and non-biased, this report has impacted AAPL stock valuation, meaning people are betting millions of dollars on the report's veracity. So now that Apple has made a comment (however contrived "and we can't wait..."), maybe look at how the stock does to decide who to believe.
  • Reply 6 of 69
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,618member
    Should I believe Apple that has over 10 years experience in making mobile phones and has the trust of millions of people or should I believe failing Bloomberg that has a consistent record of lying to the public. It’s not that difficult a choice in my opinion.
    Did Bloomberg claim that Apple made any changes that resulted in a less-accurate Face ID? I didn't recall seeing that but maybe? I thought all they claimed was that Apple reduced the quality assurance standards to increase yield, but I could surely have missed something in the article. 
    rare commentmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 69
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,863member
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    I easily believe Apple over a Bloomberg rumour. That said, the rumour sounded like it could be referring to loosing QC for one or more components used for Face ID which wouldn't affect the accuracy of Face ID. That's something Apple doesn't address in their statement. Still, if I were an iPhone X buyer I wouldn't be concerned.
    jbdragonanton zuykovrepressthismuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 69
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member

    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe?
    If the rumor had come out of Gizmodo or CNET, it would be easy to dismiss. But because Bloomberg is highly credible and non-biased, this report has impacted AAPL stock valuation, meaning people are betting millions of dollars on the report's veracity. So now that Apple has made a comment (however contrived "and we can't wait..."), maybe look at how the stock does to decide who to believe.
    How on earth is the stock a gauge of truthworthiness of info? That makes not one ounce of sense.
    I sense of SEC investigation of who published this more than anything else, Bloomberg better have all their ducks lined up, especially since they sat on the "info".
    edited October 2017 caliradarthekatmike1repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 69
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    LOL @ Bloomberg... 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 69
    holyoneholyone Posts: 389member
    Isn't the bottle neck production yields ? What does lowering testing standards have to do with manufacturing intricate optical components, how would this improve manufacturing yields ?

    Odd reason for production problems  
  • Reply 11 of 69

    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe?
    If the rumor had come out of Gizmodo or CNET, it would be easy to dismiss. But because Bloomberg is highly credible and non-biased, this report has impacted AAPL stock valuation, meaning people are betting millions of dollars on the report's veracity. So now that Apple has made a comment (however contrived "and we can't wait..."), maybe look at how the stock does to decide who to believe.
    Stock price is not 100% accurate metric on who’s telling the truth. 
  • Reply 12 of 69
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    holyone said:
    Isn't the bottle neck production yields ? What does lowering testing standards have to do with manufacturing intricate optical components, how would this improve manufacturing yields ?

    Odd reason for production problems  
    "Production yields" of individual components was the theorized reason for supply constraints of the iPhone. With one component of the entire iPhone being limited, like the camera module was for the iPhone 7 Plus, then fewer phones could be produced.

    If at any given time, 100 components are made, and 20% pass quality assurance, then you only have 20 components. If that quality assurance test is changed to yield 50% acceptance, then you now have 50 components. You still made 100 components to start. 

    If Apple did loosen testing requirements, then more of the individual components responsible for any bottleneck in production are available for assembly, leading to more completed phones.

    Notably, back in 2011, HP's tablet took iPad castoff parts, according to engineers involved in the program. It didn't last long for an assortment of reasons, but this couldn't have helped.
    edited October 2017 Solirepressthis
  • Reply 13 of 69
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,407member
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    No, who we believe should be based in large part on the track record of the party in question when it comes to accuracy and honesty.

    Apple has an excellent track record for under-promising and over-delivering on features, particularly in areas of privacy and security. Bloomberg, on the other hand, is a name associated with a number of Wall Street scandals and their tech news reporting has a checkered history that has included instances of inaccurate, misleading, and clueless reporting and analysis.
    edited October 2017 emig647lkruppStrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 69
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,922member
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    Considering that Apple has put their money where their mouth is, I'll take their word for it.  Comes down to accountability.
    lkrupp
  • Reply 15 of 69
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,355member
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    Because we now live in an age when facts don't matter. 
    emig647
  • Reply 16 of 69
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,151member

    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe?
    If the rumor had come out of Gizmodo or CNET, it would be easy to dismiss. But because Bloomberg is highly credible and non-biased, this report has impacted AAPL stock valuation, meaning people are betting millions of dollars on the report's veracity. So now that Apple has made a comment (however contrived "and we can't wait..."), maybe look at how the stock does to decide who to believe.
    We should base who to believe on..stock price? Are you shitting me?

    danh
  • Reply 17 of 69
    Apple:  "Bloomberg's claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false"

    As AppleInsider previously noted, the change could have been made ahead of WWDC and so the public accuracy spec is not reduced (but perhaps an even higher than 1-in-a-million accuracy spec could have been announced).  That would make both statements true.

    More surprising to me is Apple's decision to heavily promote the X starting today.  If the shortages are as severe as rumors suggest, then this decision would just increase the numbers of disappointed customers.  And I think Apple actively tries to manage expectations (for example, as fun as the publicity was, they have worked to avoid launch-day lines at stores). Which all makes the announcement that some devices will be available in-store on launch day and the decision to promote the X intriguing. Maybe (just maybe!) the X will be much less constrained than expected?  One can only hope.  More thoughts here.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    If you look at Apple's track record, an immediate correction = bank on it, Apple isn't bluffing.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 69
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,124member
    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe? I guess it depends on your personal bias one way or the other.
    Well I wouldn't believe a RUMOR!!!
  • Reply 20 of 69
    Ifoggyhill said:

    lkrupp said:
    So who do we believe?
    If the rumor had come out of Gizmodo or CNET, it would be easy to dismiss. But because Bloomberg is highly credible and non-biased, this report has impacted AAPL stock valuation, meaning people are betting millions of dollars on the report's veracity. So now that Apple has made a comment (however contrived "and we can't wait..."), maybe look at how the stock does to decide who to believe.
    How on earth is the stock a gauge of truthworthiness of info? That makes not one ounce of sense.
    I sense of SEC investigation of who published this more than anything else, Bloomberg better have all their ducks lined up, especially since they sat on the "info".
    How? If iPhoneX launches with a FaceID system that has issues, it will fail in the market and those who traded early (like now) will have had a tremendous chance to cash in on that failure. But if iPhone X is a huge hit, then those same traders will be crushed. In other words, the stock value at this point gives an indication of how much money is being bet for and against this issue.
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