Programmatic Lunch

Apple accused of reducing Face ID accuracy to speed up production, denies it

Tyrone Stewart

iPhone XApple is alleged to have relaxed its specifications for the iPhone X’s Face ID feature, which enables users to unlock their phone via facial recognition, in order to help factories to push through more devices.

A report from Bloomberg, where the publication cites people familiar with the production process for iPhone X, suggests that the iPhone X’s facial recognition feature – and the True Depth camera it is powered by – has been made less accurate due to the difficulties already being faced in manufacturing the device.  

Apple has since denied the accusations, with a spokesperson telling Business insider: “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, 3 November.

“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.”

Of course, this statement only addresses the claims that Apple told factories to reduce the accuracy of its facial recognition technology, and doesn’t address the difficulties that the company is having in producing the device at scale overall.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple may only ship between two and 3m units of the iPhone X before its launch.

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