Over the weekend, word surfaced that the wireless charging accessory said to accompany the iPhone 8 might be subject to a slight delay. In a new bombshell report that seemingly corroborates this, Fast Company relays that development on the iPhone 8 is fraught with technical problems. In addition to issues involving wireless charging, the report adds that Apple engineers are also having a tough time with the iPhone 8’s rumored 3D camera sensors. This is especially worrisome given reports that Apple with the iPhone 8 may abandon the venerable Touch ID sensor for a facial recognition system.
If Apple can’t get a handle on the aforementioned issues — which are reportedly software based — the report adds that the iPhone 8 launch might be pushed back or ship without all of its features fully enabled. Speaking to the critical nature of the software problems Apple is currently facing, a source told Fast Company that “panic” was setting in.
June was a tense month for the engineers and designers on Apple’s iPhone team with “a sense of panic in the air,” a source with knowledge of the situation tells me.
If the company can’t get the technology to work smoothly in time, my source said, it might ship the first phones with inoperable wireless charging hardware, then enable the feature later on.
Even more problematic than that, though, are indications that Apple’s 3D camera sensors might not be ready for action by September. While wireless charging is a nice perk, an add-on if you will, the 3D sensors are said to be a key selling point for the iPhone 8.
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.
If there’s any good news to be had here, Fast Company’s source believes that the Touch ID sensor won’t be going anywhere and will, in fact, be embedded into the display itself. This is encouraging news because the idea that Apple would remove Touch ID altogether would, by all accounts, seem to represent a huge step backwards as far as usability is concerned.