After a report from Taiwan said Apple is cautious about ramping up iPhone X production, a new report says that a specific component is what’s actually holding production back.
The TrueDepth camera that powers the sophisticated 3D facial recognition system of the iPhone X is harder to produce than expected, as it’s “far more complex” than what’s available on other devices.
More commonly referred to as “the notch,” The TrueDepth camera at the top of the iPhone X is practically a miniaturized Kinect that will allow Apple to use secure facial scans for authentication purposes. Due to its depth-measuring components, the system can’t be hacked with photos, like similar face recognition systems found on Android devices.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained in a note to investors seen by MacRumors that ramping up TrueDepth camera production is currently a challenge:
TrueDepth camera may be main production bottleneck of iPhone X ramp. The 3D sensing (TrueDepth camera) on iPhone X is composed of a structured-light system, time-of-flight system and a front-facing camera, which represents a far more complex structure than those of rivals. It will therefore be harder to achieve mass production. While we project iPhone X will see output ramp up meaningfully in mid/ late October, tight supply may only start to ease in 1H18F due to strong demand.
Kuo said that iPhone X components will ramp up in mid to late Octobers, suggesting the iPhone X supply will be constrained at launch. The phone is supposed to launch on November 3rd in stores after hitting preorders on October 27th.
The analyst also expects preorders to exceed 40 million to 50 million units.