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Apple refutes claims that it has downgraded iPhone X’s Face ID in order to speed-up manufacturing

Apple has denied reports that it has forced downgraded the quality of its Face ID technology to help its manufacturing partners get its flagship iPhone X smartphone out on time.

The claims were made with reports that company’s suppliers were having production difficulties, and that Apple may not ship as many of the devices this year as planned as a consequence. 

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that, with iPhone X supplies expected to be limited to those who were quick off the mark in pre-ordering, Apple has told suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the device’s Face ID authentication system in order to speed-up production times. 

The usual “people familiar with the situation” have claimed that although the downgrading of the feature is only slight, it won’t be as good as the original specs, despite supplier Foxconn being given a two-year lead time.

“It’s an aggressive design,” the unnamed source said, “and it’s a very aggressive schedule.”

However, Apple has since debunked this report, and said in a statement to Business Insider that “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 company added that “the quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be [a] one-in-a-million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID”. 

It continued: “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.” 

Apple’s denial comes amid reports that sales of the iPhone 8 have so far been ‘lacklustre’ and with all the problems being faced by the Google Pixel 2 range, where it seems that corner-cutting has caused a series of significant technical problems, all eyes will be on Apple to make sure it hasn’t made the same mistakes.

In both cases, these weren’t about phones, these were about high end, premium-priced flagship handsets that have raised the bar for smartphone pricing and it appears that neither company has been able to live up to their initial promises.

Supplies of the iPhone X are expected to be between two and three million on launch day, with 30 million available over the Christmas period, down from the expected 40 million and a long way from the average sale cycle of 200 million. 

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