iPhone 8 could launch without software support for wireless charging and 3D sensor

Apple is reportedly in panic mode due to persistent software problems with wireless charging and an all-new 3D sensor, which are increasingly threatening to spoil iPhone 8’s launch party.

“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 told Fast Company.

Should engineers fail to fix software hiccups, the Cupertino technology giant may be left with no other choice but to enable these features later on via an iOS 11.1 software update.

“Apple’s been working feverishly to fix software problems in its hotly anticipated iPhone 8 that could ultimately cause production and delivery delays,” sources said.

“If the software problems aren’t resolved quickly, the new flagship iPhone could even launch with major features disabled.”

iPhone 8 will use inductive charging similar to Apple Watch, where the phone sits directly on a separate charging device. The wireless charging components provided by Broadcom are not the key issue, claims the publication, it’s the software that’s not ready for prime time.

The company faces similar problems with the new front-facing 3D sensor which will be used for facial unlocking, 3D mapping, augmented reality and other features.

Fast Company’s source claims Apple’s been struggling to get the sensor to work reliably.

“The sensor hardware is not the problem, but rather the accompanying software,” said the source, speculating Apple should be able to have the 3D software working in time.

“If not, the company could include the sensor in the phone anyway, and turn it on later on with a software update,” reads the article. As for the Touch ID situation, the source says that the fingerprint sensor will be embedded under the display after all.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple shipped an iPhone with inoperable hardware.

Look no further than last year’s iPhone 7 launch—the 5.5-inch Plus model shipped with the necessary chips and sensors to support its depth-of-field photography mode, but that key feature was activated only a few weeks later via a software update.

Is Apple running the risk of launching the hotly anticipated OLED iPhone with wireless charging and 3D-sensing functionality disabled at launch, do you think?

Tell us in comments!