Updated 12:16 p.m. with comment from Apple.
Rumors have swirled that there will be very few iPhone X unites at launch because of difficulty producing Face ID sensors, and a new report suggests how far Apple has gone to get phones into customer hands on time.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the iPhone maker made a decision in "early fall" to reduce the accuracy of its TrueDepth camera in order to meet the Nov. 3 launch date.
"[Apple] quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture," Bloomberg reports. According to one source, that means it took less time to test the modules and made production faster.
Apple, however, disputes the claims as "completely false."
"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," an Apple representative wrote in a statement to press. "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."
The TrueDepth Face ID camera works by emitting 30,000 dots onto your face, and manufacturers like Sharp and LG were reportedly having issues making the projectors accurate enough, as the lasers were incredibly fragile. At one point in production, only 20 percent of the modules were usable.
There's a lot we don't know, including just how much less accurate Face ID could be compared to how it was initially planned. On stage at the phone's announcement, Apple touted that Face ID's accuracy is a million to one, compared to 50,000 to one for Touch ID. With that range, it may still be far more accurate than the current fingerprint sensors on the iPhone 8. It's also unclear when in "early fall" the decision was made, and if Apple showed off the final version on stage.
The iPhone X is Apple's vision of the smartphone of the future, with an OLED display, no home button, wireless charging and a "top notch" that holds the camera sensors. It starts at $999.
Pre-orders for the iPhone X will begin on Friday (Oct. 27) at 12:01 a.m. PDT / 3:01 a.m. EDT. While Apple says there will be some stock in stores at launch on Nov. 23, we expect it to be very limited.