2 min read

A "Less Important Offering"

A few disclaimers:

  1. I’m not buying the Apple iPhone X
  2. I’ve been riding my bike a lot lately
  3. I’ve been using a standing desk

In other words, I might be grouchy.

Also, I’m not dialed into the Apple innards and I’m not a journalist.

Having said that, this article from Bloomberg is incredible in its seemingly baselessness and flat-wrong reporting.

Shall we?

Second paragraph in.

As Wall Street analysts and fan blogs watched for signs that the company would stumble, Apple came up with a solution: It quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation.

That paragraph, along with the entire article, was posted at 3:00AM ET this morning. That second sentence seems, based on the title and subtitle of this article, to be the basis of the entire story.

Roughly 12 hours later, Apple responded (via TechCrunch):

Bloomberg’s claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.


Well, maybe that’s not fair. Let’s see what else.

Some analysts say there may still be too few iPhone Xs to meet initial demand. 

Seriously? You know what would have been a better statement? Highlighting the last time an Apple product launch actually met initial demand.

Here’s another one.

For comparison, Apple sold 78 million phones during the same period last year, although that included all models.

So, maybe not a comparison?

How about this one.

While Apple has endured delays and supply constraints in the past, those typically have been restricted to certain iPhone colors or less important offerings such as the Apple Watch.

“Less important offerings” – Says who? By what gauge? What other Apple offering is in this category?


Despite demanding the near impossible, Apple didn’t add extra time to get it right—giving suppliers the typical two-year lead time.

In the paragraph directly preceding this quote, there was this:

“That technology is something we have been looking at for five years,” Chief Design Officer Jony Ive said in an onstage discussion hosted by The New Yorker this month.

I don’t pretend to know the demands or people at Apple. Having said that, I am pretty sure that the conversation didn’t go like this:

We’ve been looking at this technology for five years.

Yeah. It’s too bad our supply chain isn’t ready for production at the levels we need to ship this revolutionary new product.

Ok, cool. Let’s build our entire event around this one product and tell everyone we’re shipping it in a few weeks.

Last one.

To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, according to a different person with knowledge of the process. As a result, it took less time to test completed modules, one of the major sticking points, the person said. 

Maybe that’s the bigger issue. Maybe don’t rely on “a different person with knowledge of the process.”

Knowledge of the process?

(Wait, one more.)

By Alex Webb and Sam Kim

With assistance by Yuan Gao, Yuki Furukawa, Ian King, Pavel Alpeyev, and Min Jeong Lee

Seven people worked on this one story. Seven!

Undone in ~twelve hours.