Apple on Wednesday issued an official statement to Business Insider’s Steve Kovach, refuting Bloomberg’s article that it has decided to weaken Face ID, one the key features of iPhone X, in order to keep iPhone X production on schedule.

According to Kovach, an Apple spokesperson said (emphasis mine):

Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible and we can’t wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use.

The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probably of a random person unlocking your iPhone X with Face ID.

Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy specification for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.

There you have it.

For the sake of completeness, here’s what Bloomberg’s write-up originally said:

To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, according to a different person with knowledge of the process. As a result, it took less time to test completed modules, one of the major sticking points, the person said.

It’s not clear how much the new specs will reduce the technology’s efficacy. At the phone’s official unveiling in September, executives boasted that there was a one in a million chance that an interloper could defeat Face ID to unlock a phone. Even downgraded, it will probably still be far more accurate than Touch ID, where the odds of someone other than the owner of a phone being able to unlock it are one in 50,000.

I’m so glad Apple reacted swiftly and made this statement.

As TechCrunch says:

If Apple were to have made claims about accuracy and not updated them before the phone released this year, it would be on the hook to answer to that difference by consumer advocacy groups. Which also likely encouraged it to respond.

Bloomberg’s charge was extremely serious, suggesting the defining iPhone X feature may not turn out to be as accurate and reliable as expected because Apple would supposedly rather rush Face ID to market than perfect it to meet its own self-imposed security standards.

If Apple really did that—rushed a half-baked 3D facial recognition sensor on the tenth anniversary iPhone—it wouldn’t just put its reputation on the line, but also risked eroding sales and killing the buzz that surrounds every new iPhone launch.

The worst thing it could have done is leave those unsubstantiated claims unanswered.

I know Bloomberg’s write-up is completely based on anonymous sources (as usual), but keep in mind this isn’t the first time they ran a sensationalist headline without checking their facts.

For the sake of balanced reporting, the least Bloomberg’s writers should have done before hitting the publish button is call their Apple contacts and ask for a comment.

The fact they didn’t makes me very angry.

I think we can agree that this was an incredibly irresponsible hit piece on Bloomberg’s part.

Yes? No?

  • 9to5Slavery

    I’m glad you’re pushing this report as well. Should have [updated: ] for previous post too

  • Iskren Donev

    I felt that the Bloomberg report was BS. Glad to see Apple confirming that.

    • Galaxy Life

      Why so? Apple did a live demo and it failed.

      They’ve had issues in the past that they refused to admit–blaming everything in the users.

      Even still, reducing it doesn’t mean they’re going from 100% to 20%–they’re just reducing it so what’s the big deal?

      • Iskren Donev

        While the demo did indeed fail, the technology did not.

        Before the start of the keynote a stage hand was cleaning the device and while doing so the iPhone was trying to recognize him. You know how after a few failed attempts to unlock with a fingerprint the phone requires a pass code, right? Well the exact same thing happened only with facial recognition – since the phone could recognize the stage hand as Craig a few times while it was being cleaned, it went into lockdown mode in order to protect itself.

      • Galaxy Life

        I don’t think that’s the case. I saw a YouTube video that made an interesting point.

        If you go back and look at the demo you’ll notice the guy wipe his face twice.

        That seemed to indicate that something on your face could cause it it not work.

        So it could be if you’re sweating it interferes with the camera. If so then maybe even makeup or light reflection can cause it to fail.

        Fail or not I still don’t think it’s a big deal. People can still use other methods to lock and unlock it

  • czbird

    What if a man has no face?

    • slpki

      Then man cannot use the iPhone X

      • Galaxy Life
    • Jamessmooth

      face/off

  • Urname

    You’d think with all the accusations against their credibility, they’d be more uptight about using anonymous sources and backing their stories up

  • WolfgangHoltz

    Does someone really believe Apple would admit this, even if it was true.

  • Jamessmooth

    First of all, I would never leave my iPhone X on the floor next to a pool. That’s just sloppy.

  • Nathan

    just did, thanks for the heads-up

  • Jay

    Not sure why why we need anything to be 1 in 50,000 – 1 in a million when the phone locks you out and needs a passcode after only a few tries..

    • Omkar Acharya

      exactly !!!!!!! very great point.

  • nonchalont

    What about Apple intentionally slowing down older phones where they are forcing consumers to upgrade?

    • Andrew Lee

      ALL other manufacturers do that too. I’m not sure if you owned a B&W television before. If you did, I’m sure you own a coloured one now. Aren’t you forced to upgrade? Nothing new here.