Apple is struggling to perfect some of the flagship features of its upcoming iPhone 8, meaning it may ship this Fall without features like wireless charging and 3D face-scanning enabled.
Fast Company reports that June was a tense month at Apple, with a source describing a “sense of panic in the air” due to the increasingly tight timeframe left to get certain software elements working. You’d expect key features to be complete by now, but it looks as though the company is struggling to get things done on time.
The source claims that it’s not the hardware Apple is struggling with, but the software. If these features aren’t ready on time, we could see the latest and greatest iPhone launched with wireless charging and 3D scanning sensors included, but those features disabled until they’ve been perfected. It’s not a perfect solution, but there is precedent for this approach: last year Apple announced Portrait mode for the iPhone 7 Plus at launch, but didn’t enable the feature until the release of iOS 10.1 a month later.
It has been rumored recently that Apple may ditch Touch ID entirely in favor of a “Face ID” camera recognition system, implementing a front-facing 3D sensor to perform biometric scans. If this feature isn’t done on time, though, it would cause even more problems for this approach, potentially leaving users with no secure authentication method beyond a passcode.
We’re sure Apple knows what it’s doing, but it’s a little worrying to hear talk of “panic” this late in the annual release cycle. Still, at the very least it sounds like the hardware side of things is going ok – which means production can ramp up ready for launch in a couple months. In the meantime, Apple’s software teams will just have to work through the panic and hope they can get everything done on schedule!