Apple iPhone X Production Woe Sparked by Juliet and Her Romeo
By Yoko Kubota
BEIJING-- Apple Inc. has hit another production snag on its new iPhone X, say people familiar with the situation--this time over a pair of components dubbed Romeo and Juliet.
The star-crossed complication is adding to concerns about extended shortages when sales begin early November.
The Romeo and Juliet components are yin-and-yang parts of the new facial-recognition system that will allow iPhone X owners to unlock their phones by scanning their faces, these people said.
It has taken more time to assemble the Romeo modules than the Juliet modules, they said, creating an imbalance in supply. That has served as a bottleneck for the iPhone X's mass production, according to one person, which could possibly crimp supplies beyond typical initial shortfalls when the phone is released Nov. 3.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., declined to comment.
The production problems are the latest glitch as Apple and its suppliers rush to load the flashy new features into the flagship model that carries high stakes for Apple.
New iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models went on sale last week, but the new high-end iPhone X won't be available until Nov. 3 following production troubles this summer involving its screens, which are using organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology, as The Wall Street Journal recently detailed.
There was also a hiccup during Apple's launch event Sept. 12, when the iPhone X failed to fully unlock the first time the company's top software executive used it before the audience. Apple later said the Face ID technology had been inadvertently disabled beforehand.