Why iPhone X Is Apple Investors' Worst Nightmare Come True

Why iPhone X Is Apple Investors' Worst Nightmare Come True

First announced on September 12, the iPhone X is the first Apple product to include Face ID, a facial recognition system that replaces Touch ID. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter. "For those users waiting to make the jump to iPhone X the iPhone 8 won't be of interest anyway".

The report made shockwaves in the Apple community.

But it could be a while before iPhone X customers get their hands on the flagship device. It turns out that Apple has been struggling to meet the production demands for the iPhone X, and the company's purported solution was to reduce the accuracy of the phone's Face ID technology so that the dot projector, one of the crucial components within the device's sensor array, could be more quickly produced. The projector then flashes 30,000 dots onto the face which the phone uses to decide whether to unlock the home screen.

Dot projector yield rates were supposedly as low as 20% not long ago, and manufacturers have slowed down production rates in order to assemble the modules more accurately. Both are fragile and a manufacturing miscalculation by less than a fraction of a hair's width can ruin the technology. The latest, by the brokerage firm Bernstein, states that while half (48%) of those questioned are excited by the launch of the new phone, only one quarter of iPhone owners (in the USA, the United Kingdom and China) plan to order the new model soon. This meant that Apple was unable to take into account the fragility and hard behind putting together the components, and thus underestimated the time. Also, several users of Apple's latest software upgrade have complained of significant glitches such as extremely slow loading times and total system failures.

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If Face ID is less reliable or on par with the competition, "that would mean a win for competitors and a loss for Apple", Schneemann suggested. It is unclear how the relaxation will affect the technology.

The iPhone X caps Apple's 2017 refresh of its phone lineup, which comes a decade after the first iPhone hit the market. The 3-D sensor shortage is expected to be a thing of the past by early 2018. Recently, the KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple would only ship between two and three million iPhone X units before launch.

Analysts predict that Apple will have two to three million phones ready for the iPhone X's November 3 launch date and 25 million to 30 million ready for the holidays.

In an initiation note published on Wednesday, analysts at the Bank reckon Apple shares are worth a cool US$193 each, which would value the California-based company at roughly US$997bn.

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