The iPhone 8 could arrive later than expected.
According to the investment publication Barrons, Apple engineers have yet to finalize the authentication features for the highly anticipated smart phone. Why? They reportedly can’t get the Touch ID to work on the new OLED display. They have until August to either fix the problem, scrap the feature, or push back the release date.
“We believe it would typically take 12 weeks from placement of fingerprint IC orders to full volume production of iPhones,” KeyBanc analyst Andy Hargreaves wrote. “Consequently, if Apple is able to solve its fingerprint problems and place orders for fingerprint ICs before August, it would likely be able to reach volume production in late October or early November. We believe this remains Apple's preferred path, and expect it would be acceptable to both consumers and investors. It is entirely unclear if Apple will be able to fix the problem in this time frame.”
According to Hargreaves, one way to work around this problem is by replacing Touch ID with facial recognition; however, this move will come with several challenges, specifically when it comes to Apple Pay’s authentication process.
“We believe Apple's facial recognition solution should work from many angles and in low-light environments,” Hargreaves wrote. “However, it would not work without clear line of sight to the user's face. Even if this encompassed just 5% of login scenarios, it would mean that several times a day the new iPhone would perform worse at an elemental feature than older iPhones, which would risk pushback from consumers. Further, we do not believe facial recognition would be initially qualified as an acceptable verification method for Apple Pay. While Apple could achieve this over time, the likelihood for an initial lack of Apple Pay could adversely affect demand.”
If Apple fails to remedy its Touch ID bug in the upcoming weeks, officials will have some hard decisions to make. Stay tuned.