Although Touch ID is the favorite whipping boy for whatever delays or flaws the iPhone 8 might, it is apparently far from being the only source of worry for Cupertino. This time, however, it isn’t the new hardware that’s the problem but the software using those hardware. If theses issues aren’t resolved in time, Apple might be forced to either delay the iPhone 8 launch or ship it on time with certain features disabled. Neither are ideal scenarios for this 10th anniversary smartphone.
A Touch ID under the screen isn’t the only new hardware feature Apple has planned for the iPhone 8, at least according to sources. Those include Qi wireless charging as well as a front-facing 3D sensor ala Microsoft Kinect. These aren’t exactly new, save perhaps for the 3D sensor, but they’re definitely new for an iPhone and for Apple in general.
Sources say that these pieces of hardware work just fine. The problem is that the software driving them don’t. It isn’t clear whether that means the user-facing apps and settings or something deeper. Either way, the problems are significant enough that it’s causing a sense of panic over at Apple HQ. It is perhaps even more critical for the 3D sensor as it is believed to replace the functionality of Touch ID, which may not make it to the final iPhone 8.
If developers at Apple won’t be able to fix those bugs in time and to Apple’s satisfaction, Apple’s safest bet would be to ship an iPhone 8 with those features disabled. Apple has done that before with new hardware like the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera or even NFC chips. It will still take flack for that, but certain factors might mitigate it. For one, Apple supposedly won’t be shipping a wireless charging mat on time either.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that, at least according to this latest source, the iPhone 8 will, “in all likelihood”, ship with Touch ID, and one embedded under the display. This would make the 3D sensor a bit superfluous, giving Apple enough time to iron out the software kinks.
SOURCE: Fast Company