Did Apple let suppliers reduce the accuracy of Face ID on iPhone X to speed up production? That's the charge made by Bloomberg, in a report published earlier today:

As Wall Street analysts and fan blogs watched for signs that the company would stumble, Apple came up with a solution: It quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation.

Apple, in a comment provided to iMore:

"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."

There are a few possibilities when stuff like this happens.

  1. The leak is bullshit, done to service an agenda, ferment sour grapes, or manipulate the stock market.
  2. The leak is broken telephone, lacking any context or understanding of how components are sourced or products are shipped.

There are a million things that happen during the lifecycle of any project from conception to launch. Most of the time you never hear about them because they have no affect on the final product or customer. With Apple, we tend to hear about everything, real and imagined. And they always seem to pop up right before Apple ships a new iPhone.

Caveat reader.

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