Apple Updates Repair Policy for iPhone X Units With Face ID Issues

Apple has updated its service policy for a limited number of iPhone X units that may be experiencing issues with Face ID.



Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers are now authorized to perform a whole unit replacement for iPhone X units with Face ID issues, instead of a display repair, according to an internal document obtained by MacRumors.

Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been advised to first run diagnostics on the iPhone X’s rear camera and potentially repair that system if necessary to see if that resolves the problem. If the issues persist, then a whole unit replacement is now permitted, the document states.

There appears to be some kind of link between failure of the iPhone X’s rear camera and front TrueDepth system, although it’s not entirely clear.

The document in full reads:

In order to provide the best customer experience, if a customer reports that their iPhone X is having Face ID issues, you may be able to resolve the issue with a rear camera repair. Run AST 2 on the customer’s device to check the camera. If the diagnostics find issue with the camera, perform the repair to see if the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, perform a whole unit replacement instead of a same-unit display repair.

Apple has not commented on this matter publicly, or launched any sort of official repair program, as these are internal guidelines.

Affected customers can book an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone → Repairs & Physical Damage → The Topic is Not Listed → Bring In For Repair. Following those steps also presents options to contact Apple by phone or email.

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Tags: Face ID, GSX
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Report: Apple plans three new iPhones for 2018—and they’re all like the iPhone X

According to a new report, three new iPhones will launch in 2018, all derived from the design and features of the iPhone X. One would be a direct successor to the iPhone X, another would be a significantly larger cousin with the biggest smartphone screen Apple has yet produced, and the third would be a cheaper version that makes some concessions for cost.

The source, Bloomberg, cites “people familiar with the products.” This report follows several rumors from various points in Apple’s supply chain that have described a similar lineup. The launches are still months away (they will likely come during September, October, or November, given Apple’s past releases), so plans are still subject to change.

According to the report, every model will come with a TrueDepth sensor array for Face ID instead of the Touch ID fingerprint reader. Each would also have an edge-to-edge screen. In other words, the iPhone X is the model for the next wave of Apple smartphones, not the iPhone 8 design whose basic elements can be traced back to 2014’s iPhone 6.

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You’ll finally be able to approve family purchases with Face ID in iOS update

In the iOS 11.3 beta, parents and other “family organizers” are now able to approve purchases through iOS’ “Ask to Buy” feature using Face ID on the iPhone X. This addresses a prior complaint from users who upgraded from Touch ID iPhones to the iPhone X with Face ID.

Previously, iPhone X users had to manually enter their passwords via the iPhone X’s keyboard to approve any request from a child to download an app or make an in-app purchase, whereas other iPhone owners could use Touch ID. It might not seem like a major inconvenience to some, but some parents with several children, all of whom have iOS devices and are playing games that involve frequent, small in-app purchases, went to Apple’s forums to complain about the constant hassle.

Apple promoted Face ID as a complete replacement for Touch ID when the iPhone X launched. In fact, third-party apps that used Touch ID could authenticate with Face ID automatically, with no action required on the part of the developer in most cases. We found when reviewing the phone that Face ID could be used to make other kinds of purchases, so it was perplexing to users when this one feature—Ask to Buy—was not supported.

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iOS 11.3 Firmware Subtly Hints at iPad With Face ID

Apple is planning to release a next-generation iPad Pro this year with slim bezels and Face ID, like the iPhone X, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg News, and evidence of the tablet may have been uncovered in iOS 11.3.

iPad Pro with Face ID mockup by Carlos Guerra


iHelpBR editor Filipe Espósito has discovered strings in the first iOS 11.3 beta that refer to a “modern iPad,” which is notable since Apple’s software engineers referred to the iPhone X as the “modern iPhone” in older firmware, according to both Espósito and developer Guilherme Rambo.



While the “modern iPad” strings could be placeholders, as commonly found in Apple’s code, the discovery lends credence to rumors of an iPad Pro with Face ID, which would certainly be a logical next step in Apple’s product roadmap.



KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also expects Apple to release a new iPad Pro with Face ID this year, so there is a good chance the rumor is true. Like the iPhone X, the tablet reportedly lacks a Home button, although it will likely still have an LCD instead of OLED display due to supply, cost, and technological constraints.

It’s unclear if the iPad Pro will have a notch for the TrueDepth system, as illustrated in the first mockup above, or if the device will have uniformly slim bezels on all four sides with enough room for the Face ID sensors.

iPad Pro with slim bezels rendered by Benjamin Geskin


Face ID is also expected to be featured on a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a new, cheaper 6.1-inch model with an LCD, aluminum frame, and no 3D Touch.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iOS 11
Tag: Face ID

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2019 iPhones Could Have Smaller Notch as Apple ‘Looking Into’ Combining Face ID and Front Camera

A new report from South Korea’s ETNews insinuates that iPhones may have a smaller notch in 2019 or beyond.



The report, citing industry sources, claims Apple is “looking into” combining the front-facing camera and Face ID on next year’s iPhones, a move that could certainly reduce the size of the TrueDepth sensor housing.

According to industries, it is heard that Apple is planning to strengthen face sensing function starting from 2019 models. That is why it is planning to increase number of parts that will be used for iPhones and is looking into combination of a face recognition module with a camera module.

The confusing bit is that the report mentions a singular face recognition module, whereas Face ID is powered by an infrared camera, dot projector, and flood illuminator. The report doesn’t specify how Apple would manage to combine these components, so like many very-early-on rumors, this one isn’t entirely clear yet.



The notch is easily the most controversial attribute of the iPhone X’s design. While many early adopters don’t mind the small cutout at the top of the display, others have heavily criticized it, including The Outline‘s Joshua Topolsky.

The “notch” on the new iPhone X is not just strange, interesting, or even odd — it is bad. It is bad design, and as a result, bad for the user experience. The justification for the notch (the new Face ID tech, which lets you unlock the device just by looking at it) could have easily been accomplished with no visual break in the display. Yet here is this awkward blind spot cradled by two blobs of actual screen space.

Unfortunately for those critics, it doesn’t look like the smaller notch will arrive in 2018, as new iPhones and iPads set to launch later this year are expected to have the same TrueDepth sensor housing as the iPhone X.

Back in November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Face ID will be featured on a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, and a new mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone. Apple will also release at least one iPad Pro model with Face ID this year, according to Bloomberg News.

LG Innotek will reportedly supply all or the majority of 3D sensing modules for the next-generation iPhone and iPad models, based on an $821 million investment, which may have been funded at least partially by Apple.

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Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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LG Expected to Supply Face ID Technology on New iPhone X, iPad Pro, and iPhone X Plus This Year

Apple is planning a significant investment in LG Innotek to secure supply of 3D sensing modules for next-generation iPhone and iPad models expected to launch this year, according to Korean website The Investor.

iPad Pro render by Benjamin Geskin and rough mockup of iPhone X and iPhone X Plus


The upfront payment could be worth as much as around $820.9 million, which LG Innotek would use to build additional facilities for production of 3D sensing and camera modules for mobile devices, the report claims.

The 3D sensing modules assembled by LG Innotek, including the flood illuminator and dot projector, are key components of the iPhone X’s new TrueDepth camera system, enabling features such as Face ID and Animoji.

The investment would make sense given Apple plans to launch a refreshed iPhone X, a larger iPhone X Plus, and a mid-range iPhone each with Face ID later this year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple will also release at least one iPad Pro model with Face ID this year, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg News.

The investment could help Apple avoid the temporary supply chain issues it experienced with 3D sensing modules late last year, ensuring availability of the new iPhone X, iPhone X Plus, and iPad Pro is more plentiful.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone X

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Samsung Announces Exynos Chip for Galaxy S9 Series With iPhone X-Like Features

Samsung today announced the launch of its latest flagship mobile processor that’s expected to power the firm’s upcoming Galaxy S9 series devices. Called the Exynos 9810, the 9 series CPU is built on a second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process and, apart from being faster and more energy efficient, includes advanced AI and deep learning capabilities that will power a new breed of facial recognition features in the smartphones.

The Exynos 9810 has a neural engine that can recognize people and objects in photos at very high speed, and will enable apps to use realistic face-tracking filters, according to Samsung – perhaps in a manner akin to Animojis which use the TrueDepth camera found in Apple’s iPhone X.



Armed with the Exynos 9810, which also has a separate secure processing unit for handling sensitive personal and biometric data, the new Samsung phones will also be capable of scanning and creating a 3D image of a user’s face. The obvious suggestion here is that the Galaxy S9 range will have a facial authentication system similar to Face ID in the iPhone X.

Last year’s S8 also had facial recognition capabilities, but it was limited to 2D tracking, making it less secure than Face ID and easy to fool. Despite the jump to 3D scanning though, it doesn’t look like Samsung will be relying on facial recognition as the sole authentication method in its 2018 smartphones.

Image via @OnLeaks


CAD leaks and rumors suggest the S9 will retain the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, now located underneath a new-dual camera setup instead of being positioned alongside a single lens, as it was on the S8. The change of location is presumably to make accidentally smudging the lens with fingerprints less likely, but as expected, Samsung will not be building fingerprint recognition into the OLED display. Otherwise, the general design of the Galaxy S9 looks largely similar to the S8.

For over a year leading up to the iPhone X, rumors ran rampant about Touch ID being placed under the display, or on the back or side of the device, but Apple has said those reports are untrue. In perhaps the biggest signal of its confidence in the security of its authentication method, rumors suggest Apple will remove Touch ID on all iPhones launched in 2018 in favor of Face ID.

When it comes to facial recognition, Apple’s TrueDepth camera is said to have given Cupertino a solid technological lead throughout 2018, and perhaps beyond. Indeed, Samsung and other Android competitors could require up to two and a half years to replicate the functionality and user experience of the TrueDepth Camera in Apple’s iPhone X, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

As with previous years, Samsung’s new Galaxy Sx series of phones are expected to debut at the annual Mobile World Congress in February.

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Face ID Can’t Be Used to Approve Family Purchases on iPhone X

Increasing numbers of iPhone X owners with children are finding that they are unable to approve family purchases using Face ID. The scale of the frustration was recently highlighted by ArsTechnica, which linked to a page on Apple’s support forum containing hundreds of complaints.

Basically, iPhone X users are unable to use facial authentication with the “Ask to Buy” feature, which lets parents approve their kids’ iOS purchases and downloads. On iOS devices with Touch ID, parents – or “family organizers”, as Apple calls them – can use Touch ID to approve Ask to Buy, but iPhone X owners are forced to enter their password manually on every occasion, which could quickly become a nuisance for device owners with big families.



The inability to approve family purchases with Face ID is noteworthy, given that Apple has marketed it as a functional like-for-like replacement for Touch ID, but with enhanced security and speed. The frustration surrounding the missing functionality appears to have come to a head only recently because of the popularity of App Store gift cards over the holiday season.

Face ID is generally very secure in everyday use cases, and while some attempts to fool the feature have been successful, many involve complicated technical methods and a good deal of preparation.

That said, we have seen evidence of a 10-year-old child unlocking his mother’s iPhone X with his face, even though Face ID was set up with her face. Apple itself also notes that Face ID often fails to identify between identical twins, while the probability of a false match is higher among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. These caveats have led some to speculate whether Apple is erring on the side of caution in choosing not to deploy Face ID for family purchase approval.

In early 2013, Apple settled a class action lawsuit originally filed by parents after their children ran up hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases in freemium games. In 2014, the company entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to provide $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Face ID
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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