Apple’s iPhone X still facing production delays as manufacturers struggle to perfect TrueDepth Camera system for Face ID

“‘For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’ These words by Shakespeare could well be applied to Apple Inc.’s iPhone X,” Debby Wu reports for Nikkei Asian Review. “A tech executive familiar with iPhone X production told Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday that manufacturers are still struggling to perfect 3-D sensors and in particular dot projectors in Apple premium handset’s TrueDepth camera system, though the person could not pinpoint exactly the problem.”

“The dot projector makes up part of the transmitting module, dubbed ‘Romeo,’ of iPhone X’s new facial recognition function that allows users to unlock phones and make payments, according to the executive,” Wu reports. “The receiving module is fittingly named ‘Juliet.'”

“The executive’s comments were confirmed by Jeff Pu, an analyst with Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting, who also identified the dot projector as the troublesome component holding back mass production of iPhone X,” Wu reports. “Nonetheless, Pu stuck to his view voiced late September that iPhone X will enter mass production in mid-October and begin to be shipped from China in the third week of this month. He is, however, cutting his forecast of the volume of iPhone X that will be produced this year, from 40 million units to 36 million.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Extremely constrained supplies make the heart grow fonder.

If you can get multiple iPhone X units during pre-order, they might go for a pretty penny as supply is expected to be close to nonexistent for quite some time after the initial pre-order supply quickly evaporates.


  1. Wait, “Struggling to perfect” or “Struggling to supply”? Two major differences there. I would say it is perfected already, at least I would hope so, and that just having enough components is the actual problem.

    1. Agreed if it were not perfected you wouldn’t have any production units so one presumes it’s the production process that isn’t perfected thus limiting quantity.

      1. Agreed. Most likely yield of ‘good’ Romeo/Juliet component pairs is much lower than expected. Since the iPhoneX will not be able to ‘fall-back’ to TouchID it’s pretty important to make sure the FaceID components will be reliable for at least a year from purchase (or whenever the user upgrades).

  2. I don’t understand why these people would be discussing this and risking potential future business with Apple, Seems that they would be under some sort of contract to remain quiet, at least until the product ships.

  3. Apple shareholders will be shafted the most with this potential drop in iPhone sales numbers. That’s why Apple really needs a decent second source of revenue that doesn’t involve hardware. Apple’s share price will be range-bound for the rest of this year while the FANG stocks soar to the heavens. I hope this supply problem only turns out to be a short-term problem.

    1. There was a time Apple’s leaders attempted to manage each product on its own merits instead of tying everything to a walled garden or cloud. For example, the price one paid to buy an OS X upgrade or iWork ’09 actually covered the costs of producing it.

      Today Apple obviously wants iCloud rental, music rental, videos rental, and App stores to be the profit centers. Apple could — and in the future might actually do so — give away iOS gadgets at cost as long as they can continue to maintain its App distribution monopoly and the insane Lightning etc licensing fees for accessories.

      I am strongly against this future vision of making users have no choice but to rent their computing. The Personal Computer revolution that Jobs ushered in put options in the hands of users. The thin client Big Brother world of rental computing that Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and now Apple are forcing onto users may look simple and convenient but in the long run it is more expensive, more risky, and gives the user less options.

      The difference between the Mac and iOS cannot be more stark. In exchange for ultraportabilty, Apple has ultimate control over your device and data. Don’t believe me? Try to recover any data from your deceased father’s iCloud account that is needed to help resolve matters of his estate. You will have a very different impression of what kind of company Apple has decided to become.

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