A new report from Fast Company details that there is a “sense of panic in the air” at Apple ahead of the iPhone 8 unveiling in a couple of months from now. Engineers inside the company are trying to fix various software problems that have been plaguing the handset so far in a bid to ensure its production and delivery cycle are not affected.
If Apple’s engineers are not able to solve the software problems in time, Apple might just be forced to ship the iPhone 8 with the associated features disabled and then activate them later on with a software update.
One area where Apple engineers are struggling with is wireless charging. The iPhone 8 is going to be Apple’s first iPhone to include some form of wireless charging, with reports pointing to Broadcom supplying the company with the components.
While the hardware is fine, its the software that is not yet ready. And if the software is not finalised in time, Apple will end up shipping the iPhone 8 with the wireless charging feature disabled and then enable it with a future software update. The company did something similar with Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus last year where it first launched the handset and then enabled the functionality with the iOS 10.1 software update.
Wireless charging is not the only feature whose software might not be ready in time. Apple is also facing problems with the 3D sensor it is using on the iPhone 8 for facial recognition. While the sensor itself is fine, the software is not yet ready which leads to the 3D scanner not working reliably and accurately. Apple engineers should be able to have the 3D facial scanner recognition up and running properly by the time the iPhone 8 ships, but in case they are not able to, it is possible that Apple could ship the phone with the feature disabled.
As if these software issues were not already enough, Apple is also facing certain hardware issues with components that it wants to use in the iPhone 8. The OLED display, for example, which Apple has been sourcing from Samsung is in short supply which will limit the initial supply of the handset in the first few weeks of its availability. To make matters worse, the Touch ID scanner, which would most likely be embedded into the display, is also having some issues with its performance and reliability.
The tenth-anniversary iPhone is going to come with a lot of breakthrough new features so it is not surprising that Apple is struggling to get the phone ready in time for a September launch. While shipping the phone with certain hardware feature disabled might not be liked by everyone, it is the best resort for Apple to ensure a timely launch for the iPhone 8.