Persistent Software Problems With iPhone 8 Wireless Charging and 3D Sensor Causing 'Panic' at Apple

MacRumors

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As the prospective September launch date of the iPhone 8 fast approaches, designers and engineers at Apple are said to be working "feverishly" to fix software problems in the device that could lead to production delays, reports Fast Company.

Citing a source "knowledge of the situation," the site says there's a "sense of panic" in the air because should the problems not be resolved, the device might ship without major features enabled.

One feature that might be delayed is wireless charging. Apple is said to be planning to implement inductive wireless charging in the iPhone 8, but rumors suggest it will be enabled through a standalone charger purchased separately. As previously shared by Apple blogger John Gruber, Apple may not ship the inductive wireless charging accessory until later in the year alongside an iOS 11.1 update.


While Gruber didn't offer an explanation, Fast Company says software issues, not components, are the problem. If the software isn't ready, wireless charging could be unavailable when the phone first begins shipping.

Apple is also said to be struggling with the 3D sensor expected to be built into the front-facing camera, which is rumored to enable a facial scanning system that could replace Touch ID.
Without confirming that's what the front-facing 3D sensor is for, my source says Apple has been struggling to get the sensor to work reliably. Again, the sensor hardware is not the problem, but rather the accompanying software.

The source believes Apple will likely have the 3D software working in time. But if not, the company could include the sensor in the phone anyway, and turn it on later on with a software update.
On the subject of Touch ID, Fast Company's source believes Apple could still be working to add it under the display. Yesterday, a report from KeyBanc Capital Markets suggested Apple was continuing to struggle to put the fingerprint sensor under the glass of the device, and that the company had "just a couple of weeks" to solve the problem.

Though this sounds unlikely because new device designs are often finalized months ahead of production, Fast Company's source calls the report "plausible" and says "in all likelihood, the fingerprint sensor will be embedded under the display." The source also says iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch.

With multiple reputable sources (Bloomberg and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo) reporting Apple has adopted a superior facial recognition system to replace Touch ID, it's not clear how accurate Fast Company's information is, but given the number of conflicting rumors we've heard over the course of the iPhone 8's development, it's still difficult to predict exactly what we're going to see when the device debuts in September.

We've previously heard of problems with the display, the 3D sensor, and Touch ID, all of which have led to multiple rumors pointing towards serious supply issues. The iPhone 8, which will be sold alongside an "iPhone 7s" and an "iPhone 7s Plus," may not be widely available until late in 2017 or early in 2018 due to a later production ramp-up schedule, according to the latest rumor.

Article Link: Persistent Software Problems With iPhone 8 Wireless Charging and 3D Sensor Causing 'Panic' at Apple
 

farewelwilliams

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2014
2,254
9,506
"reports fast company"?

fast company previously reported:
- "Some media reports have suggested that Apple will include a set of Lightning-connected EarPod earphones in the box with the iPhone 7. It’s more likely, our source says, that Apple will sell a more expensive pair of noise-canceling,"
- "iPhone 7...will be noticeably thinner, will very likely support wireless charging and be waterproof, a source with knowledge of the company’s plans tells Fast Company."

all wrong.
 

KeanosMagicHat

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2012
1,499
517


. . . . Citing a source "knowledge of the situation," the site says there's a "sense of panic" in the air because should the problems not be resolved, the device might ship without major features enabled . . . .
If this were to happen then Apple would be truly prioritising revenue for 2017 and shareholder expectations over customers.

Now perhaps that's to be expected in the modern corporate world but, should it ship without several key features - some of which would adversely affect security, then I'd love to see the public give Apple a reality check and hold off buying until these features are confirmed.

Worst case scenario, we could be talking about a phone with no TouchID and the Facial Recognition alternative not ready at launch.

Personally, I would not buy that phone as I have no intention of going back to passcode entry every time. I'd wait it out until Apple got their act together and released something secure.


. . . On the subject of Touch ID, Fast Company's source believes Apple could still be working to add it under the display. Yesterday, a report from KeyBanc Capital Markets suggested Apple was continuing to struggle to put the fingerprint sensor under the glass of the device, and that the company had "just a couple of weeks" to solve the problem.

Though this sounds unlikely because new device designs are often finalized months ahead of production, Fast Company's source calls the report "plausible" and says "in all likelihood, the fingerprint sensor will be embedded under the display." The source also says iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch . . .
Normally I would agree that given the supposed closeness to launch, this would seem "unlikely", however, reading between the lines of the many rumours and knowing that Apple likes to work with internally competitive teams on the same product I believe the following may have happened (my speculation of course).

A while back, Apple were running with at least 3 iPhone X prototype designs, one with TouchID under the screen, one with TouchID on the back and one with 3D Facial Recognition.

My thoughts are that, at some point, they became more confident that they could realise 2 of these and so dropped the TouchID on the back variant, which from all the rumour feedback they would have seen was extremely unpopular.

They initially prioritised the TouchID under screen option, whilst keeping the other team competing as a backup.

Relatively recently they decided they were too far away with this for a timely 2017 launch and flipped over to what they saw was the now easier option of Facial Recognition (whilst still keeping the under screen TouchID team running in the background in case they had a breakthrough).

Now according to this report, they're rumoured to be having problems with Facial Recognition implementation too, hence the "panic" and speculation on a launch without major features just to try to protect 2017 revenues.

I've followed all of the rumours reasonably closely and this is my take as I say, reading between the lines.
 
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newyorksole

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2008
3,602
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New York.
I really wish someone would compile a list of rumors from each iPhone launch and see what and what didn't come to fruition.

Is Apple having issues now because they're ramping up production? Are they leaking these stories on purpose?

Idk what's going on, but this launch will be very interesting...
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,559
3,966
Unless Apple is planning on doing some real wireless charging (IE, receives a charge even when it's several feet from the power source), I find this story hard to believe.

Besides the competing phones that have been doing this for nearly a decade, Apple's own Apple Watch has been able to do "wireless charging" for over 2 years now.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
Fast Company's source calls the report "plausible"....
Why kind of "source" is that? The "source" is taking a guess as much as anyone else. Sources are suppose to have actual knowledge. Doesn't sound too knowledgeable to me.

But I'm sure Apple would love people to actually believe that it's in "panic mode." Makes the presenters look better at the announcement when there are no hitches. If they were really in distress we wouldn't know about it because everyone in the know would be on lockdown x100.