Apple disputes report on accuracy of Face ID system

PHOTO: Apple

Apple Inc. disputed a report by Bloomberg News on Wednesday that it recently allowed suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the iPhone X's facial recognition system to speed output of the phone.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said "Bloomberg's claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false."

Bloomberg's report, which cited sources close to people familiar with the situation, said Apple relaxed some of the technical specifications for sensors for the Face ID system, making it faster to test the parts.

A Bloomberg spokeswoman said the company stood behind its report.

The Face ID system - among the $999 iPhone X's most talked-about features - uses a mathematical model of users' faces to allow them to sign on to their phones or pay for goods with a steady glance at their phones.

Apple launches iPhone X, 8 and 8 plus

  • Apple Inc on Tuesday rolled out its much-anticipated iPhone X, a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
  • The rear of the iPhone X
  • (L-R) iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and iPhone 8 models are displayed
  • The launch contained few surprises, with leaked details on the phone and other products including an updated Apple Watch proving largely accurate. But the iPhone X’s $999 price still raised eyebrows, and its Nov. 3 ship date prompted questions about possible supply constraints ahead of the holiday season.
  • The iPhone X has wireless charging, an infrared camera and hardware for facial recognition, which replaces the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The home button is also gone, and users instead tap the device to wake it up.
  • The new Apple Watch for the first time will be able to make calls and access the internet without the customer carrying an iPhone -- a major upgrade that one analyst predicted would more than double watch sales.
  • The screen on the iPhone X is about the size of the current iPhone 7 plus, though the phone is smaller. It features richer colors thanks to a new screen technology called OLED that other vendors are also rolling out.
  • Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone x
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, speaks about Apple TV
  • Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, shows Animoji during the launch event in Cupertino
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) plays with an iPhone as Jonathan Ive, Apple's Chief Design Officer, looks on

Apple has faced a slew of issues with its latest set of phones launched on Sept. 12, with muted demand for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and media and analyst reports suggesting reduced shipment plans for the iPhone X.

In its statement, Apple said it expects the iPhone X to go on sale as planned on Nov. 3 with the Face ID feature.

"The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven't changed. It continues to be one-in-a-million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID," the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg's story did not specify whether Apple relaxed its requirements before or after it announced its one-in-a-million accuracy claims for Face ID at a press conference on Sept. 12.Speech

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