Apple iPhone X production woe sparked by a parts imbalance

Mobile								Image Source Martin Hajek

Yesterday, supply chain sources became anxious about the low yield of the iPhone X's structured light emitter used in its Face ID recognition set at the front of the handset. The newly released Apple document, however, paints things a little differently - saying that siblings might also be able to trick the system into a false positive. The Romeo module features a dot projector that uses a laser to beam 30,000 infrared dots across the user's face, essentially mapping its unique characteristics. Apple says it's related to its face detection capabilities. Face ID runs through the iPhone X's TrueDepth camera system, which maps the user's face.

Maybe - although Face ID only works if you're looking at it.

Apple's white paper retreads some old ground covered during the iPhone X launch event.

"You are giving bad guys more and more incentive to try to compromise that secure enclave", Fu added talking about Apple's decision to store everything sensitive, including Apple Pay data and the Face ID, in once place. If the scan generates a partial match (although what that means exactly is unclear) and you enter the correct password immediately thereafter, Face ID will use said partial match as a new data point. The feature comes with an "additional neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks", something that Samsung's Galaxy S8 struggled with. It even recommends reverting to the outdated passcode for anyone concerned about these limitations. The information is only available to the Secure Enclave and never leaves the device, is not sent to Apple and is not included in device backups. That data, along with a 2D infrared image, are transferred to the Secure Enclave. If it's a close enough match, Face ID may still save and use this model too. And by activating the Emergency SOS, you'll also be dialing an emergency number and disabling the Touch ID and Face ID features.




If you're still anxious about Face ID, you can read Apple's entire security guide at this link. The iPhone X should also recognize you even if you change your appearance, like if you grow a beard. "Furthermore, it's created to work indoors, outdoors, and even in total darkness. Only in the case that you wish to provide Face ID diagnostic data to AppleCare for support will this information be transferred from your device".

As for what's going right with Face ID, beyond the massive demand it seems to be helping to fuel, there are a few items of note.

The tenth anniversary iPhone X starts at $999 for 64GB capacity or $1,149 for 256GB and comes in space gray or silver.

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