Apple ordered its suppliers to reduce the accuracy of its facial recognition software to make it easier to manufacture, an industry source has claimed.
Face ID uses a mathematical model of users’ faces to let them sign in to their smartphone, or pay for goods, with a steady glance at their handset.
The news comes just days after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed concerns over the feature.
The news emerged after reports in Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation, claimed Apple instructed suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to ensure it meets demand.
Rumours that the tech firm may not have enough of the iPhone X devices in time for its launch have been swirling for some time now.
If the anonymous tip is to be believed, this could be the solution that Apple has been looking for.
The iPhone X set to debut on November 3, when consumers will found out whether the move has led to a noticeable drop in the quality of the feature.
In recent days, Steve Wozniak said that he won’t be buying an iPhone X on ‘day one’ due to Face ID, and instead claims he is happy with his iPhone 8.
Wozniak expressed concerns about whether the Face ID feature, which allows users to unlock their device just by looking at it, would work.
During Apple’s September 12 event, senior vice president Craig Federighi tried and failed to demonstrate Face ID for the crowd before switching phones.
Apple explained that handlers mistakenly set off Face ID attempts prior to Federighi’s presentation, which caused the phone to revert to a passcode lock before he took the stage.
THE IPHONE X
– $999 (£999 in the UK) price for 64GB version, and $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK) for the 256GB version
– Pronounced the ‘iPhone 10’
– Comes with 64GB and 256GB models
Pre-orders open October 27, ships November 3
– No home button – swipe up from the bottom to unlock or to go home from an app or to multitask
– ‘Face ID’ that allows users to unlock the phone by looking at it
– Qi and AirPower wireless charging that lets you charge multiple devices at once
– ‘Screen tap’ unlock
– Edge to edge display with glass on both sides of the device
– Super retina display using OLED technology – highest ever pixel density in an iPhone
– Dual 12 megapixel cameras and dual-optical image stabilisation
– Tuned for augmented reality capabilities
– Portrait lighting that uses machine learning to touch up photos
– A11 bionic chips with six cores, can be 70 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip
While Face ID won’t face an acid test with ordinary users until November, Apple says it should work just fine.
Apple has hailed the iPhone X – which feature a range of new features including animoji, an edge-to-edge display and facial recognition – as revolutionary, but Wozniak seems less convinced.
Speaking from the sidelines of the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, hesaid: ‘I’d rather wait and watch that one.
‘I’m happy with my iPhone 8 — which is the same as the iPhone 7, which is the same as the iPhone 6, to me.
‘For some reason, the iPhone X is going to be the first iPhone I didn’t — on day one — upgrade to. But my wife will, so I’ll be close enough to see it.’