Apple is allowing suppliers to reduce the accuracy — “if only a little” — of Face ID to speed up production of the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg, quoting unnamed sources. However, Apple denies this.
The problem with production is reportedly the 3D sensor that recognizes faces and unlocks the handset. It has three key elements: a dot projector, flood illuminator and infrared camera. Bloomberg says the dot projector is at “the heart of Apple’s production problems.” To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple has purportedly relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID.
“It’s not clear how much the new specs will reduce the technology’s efficacy. At the phone’s official unveiling in September, executives boasted that there was a one in a million chance that an interloper could defeat Face ID to unlock a phone,” writes Bloomberg. “Even downgraded, it will probably still be far more accurate than TouchID, where the odds of someone other than the owner of a phone being able to unlock it are one in 50,000.”
However, in a statement to AppleInsider, Apple said: “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.”