“As for advising service providers to try fixing the rear camera first, that is something of a technical mystery.”
Apple has established a new repair policy for Face ID, suggesting that its Genius Bar employees and other Authorized Service Providers first try to fix the rear camera, and if that fails, replace the whole phone.
The policy came to light by way of a support document issued by Apple to its service provider. It isn’t clear how widespread Face ID failures are, but evidently there have been enough issues that it warranted establishing a common guideline on how to fix them.
That may reflect the complexity of Apple’s infrared face scanning system, the costliness of which is thought to be pushing Apple’s lower-tier rivals to other innovative biometric authentication technologies, especially in-display fingerprint recognition. And the fact that Apple is willing to simply replace an entire iPhone X unit rather than have service providers attempt to fix Face ID itself further underscores that complexity and costliness.
As for advising service providers to try fixing the rear camera first, that is something of a technical mystery. Face ID operates, of course, through front-facing sensors; but it seems that the rear-facing camera is somehow connected to the front-facing one, with problems in the former causing the latter to occasionally stop functioning. Again, it’s a complex system, and it’s evidently one that can be repaired relatively easily, or not at all.
May 7, 2018 – by Alex Perala