It’s no big secret that Apple took quite a few gambles (for a change) with the radical new design of the iPhone X, which loses the physical home button and fingerprint reader, gaining an incredibly complex facial recognition mechanism and a beautiful façade that’s almost all screen.
But with the largely redundant iPhone 8 and 8 Plus predictably generating less interest (and presumably sales) than last year’s 7/7 Plus duo, Cupertino now needs to rapidly ramp up iPhone X production to keep investors happy.
Unfortunately, in addition to Samsung’s reported slow OLED manufacturing start for the most eye-catching iPhone in recent memory, the so-called “TrueDepth” camera may also complicate November 3 release plans.
You probably have nothing to worry about if you hurry and pre-order the unusually compact 5.8-inch iOS device early October 27 morning, but if you don’t do that, a long wait could be ahead, extending through the holiday season or even 2018.
That’s purportedly because the 3D sensing arrangement on the iPhone X is composed of a “structured-light system, time-of-flight system and a front-facing camera”, which are proving extremely tricky to get just right in the supply chain.
According to “people familiar with the situation” quoted under anonymity by The Wall Street Journal, it’s the Romeo part of a “yin-and-yang” type of assembly that’s taking significantly more time than the Juliet component to reach a satisfactory manufacturing level.
“Romeo” is likely the Dot Projector used to build each user’s unique “facial map” with the help of over 30,000 invisible dots, while the infrared camera that actually reads the dot pattern, captures an image and works with the A11 Bionic chip to confirm a match could well be known on the inside as “Juliet.” Either way, something‘s delaying the proper mass execution of Face ID, according to several unrelated sources, and the clock is ticking.