In the run-up to the iPhone X launch, industry analysts claimed that the phone would be in scarce supply during the holiday season. They believed Apple wouldn’t be able to catch up with the consumer demand until the first half of 2018. Pre-orders ran out of stock within minutes, and the iPhone X shipments were pushed back by 4-6 weeks. However, the Cupertino company appears to be improving the iPhone X production every week.
iPhone X shipments improve ahead of the holiday season
On Wednesday, Apple updated the iPhone X page to reflect that new orders would ship in 2-3 weeks in the United States and Canada. It means if you place your order today, it will arrive in time for the holiday season. The improved iPhone X shipments ensure that the phone will be available for holiday gifts. This is the shortest shipping time for the anniversary iPhone so far.
Previously, the iPhone X page was showing shipping estimates of 3-4 weeks. The drop in the waiting period for the North American market follows improved iPhone X shipments in Europe and Asia. If you do not want to wait for 2-3 weeks, you’d want to try your luck at an Apple Store, which may have the phone up for immediate purchase. The Apple Stores are getting fresh stock daily. The units tend to sell out pretty quickly, though.
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Apple Insider points out that some storage and color options are still scarce in retail stores. They conducted a survey of all Apple retail stores in major cities across the US, but were unable to find 256GB Space Gray AT&T model of the iPhone X at any store. You can use the iPhone X in-stock tracker to improve your chances of picking up the device from a nearby store.
Besides improvement in the iPhone X shipments, the company is also sending out the device to pre-order customers earlier than expected. People who were expecting the deliveries in late November or December have either already received their units or expect to receive them in the next few days. The phone was in short supply at the time of launch.
The consistently improving shipping times suggest that Apple has resolved the manufacturing issues that restricted production. The problems were reportedly related to the TrueDepth camera that supports the Face ID facial recognition and Animoji. The TrueDepth camera consists of two parts that Apple calls Romeo and Juliet. The Romeo components were difficult to manufacture, which affected the iPhone X production rate.
iPhone X Face ID does not offer foolproof security
The Face ID may be a revolutionary technology, but it has a long way to go before it matures. Apple claims it is far more secure than the Touch ID fingerprint reader. A few days ago, Vietnam-based security firm Bkav was able to fool the face detection technology using a $150 mask. They were able to do it without creating a perfect mask. To create the mask, researchers focused only on a few spots on the victim’s face that Face ID scans.
The mask consisted of 2D lips and eyes, a 3D printed frame, some makeup, a sculpted silicone nose, and some paper cutouts. Yeah, that was enough to trick the Face ID. Bkav said casual users need not panic because nosy acquaintances and petty thieves are unlikely to put so much effort into unlocking your phone. However, it could be a major concern for celebrities, billionaires, politicians, and spies.
More interestingly, it’s not just your identical twins that would sometimes be able to unlock your iPhone. Even your kids can if they have similar facial features. In the video below, a 10-year-old boy successfully unlocked an iPhone X that was set up with his mother’s face. Apple says if you are worried about someone unlocking your phone using Face ID, you should disable the feature and rely on the passcode instead.
iPhone X to get ‘fast’ wireless charging in coming weeks
Apple is going to add ‘fast’ wireless charging to the iPhone X with the upcoming iOS 11.2 update, which is expected to be rolled out to the public next month. Currently, the iPhone X supports only 5W of wireless charging, even though the Qi standard offers support for power transfer of up to 15W. The recently released third beta of iOS 11.2 increases the power transfer rate from 5W to 7.5W via wireless charging mats.
That’s a 50% jump in charging speed, but still significantly slower than 10W or 15W offered by many Android smartphones. MacRumors found that the 7.5W charging is 43% faster than 5W. Thankfully, you’ll not have to buy a new wireless charger because the Belkin and Mophie charging mats that Apple sells in its stores already support 7.5W charging.
The iPhone X is Apple’s most revolutionary smartphone in years. Apple’s design chief Jony Ive recently said in an interview that the anniversary iPhone would get a series of software updates over the next year to offer features that it doesn’t have right now.