Apple events have historically been flawless. So when Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, demoed FaceID on stage in the new iPhone X and it failed at the first attempt, a lot of people couldn’t believe it. An iPhone is not supposed to fail, especially when you are showing off. But it happened. Federighi held the phone up against his face and the iPhone X promptly failed and asked for the pass code. Oops.
But it turns out, FaceID didn’t really fail after all. According to Apple, at least. An Apple rep told Yahoo Finance that the iPhone X locked down because the phone was handled by a lot of people before the event and each time, the iPhone X looked for the face of Federighi and failed. So it did what it always does in this situation. It asked for a pass code after failing to authenticate too many times.
Heard from Apple on what happened when Face ID
David Pogue (@Pogue) 1505355608000
Here’s what the publication reported:
“People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time,” says a rep, “and didn’t realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face. After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode.” In other words, “Face ID worked as it was designed to.”
To be fair, the same happened in TouchID as well. If an unregistered finger tapped on the home button too many times, the iPhone would go into lockdown mode which could only be unlocked using the passcode.
But then again, something like this happening right when Apple was demonstrating a groundbreaking technology for the first time, is pretty embarrassing. Perfectionist Mr Jobs would have certainly freaked out.
Apple stock owners surely did. Within moments of Federighi’s failed attempt, Apple stocks started fell to $159 after picking up to a new high of $163.54 right before Tim Cook announced the iPhone X. It wiped around $20 billion off from Apple’s market cap. By the end of the presentation though, Apple stocks once again picked up to $160 but it was clear that Wall Street was quite alarmed by the goof up. The stock prices had started to surge when Cook came on stage and announced the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Store redesigns.
On Twitter too, people couldn’t believe it. The iPhone was anyway the buzzword on the microblogging site and a whopping 1.67 million tweets were sent out worldwide.
Literally the first demo ever of Face ID just failed. That seems… not great
David Pierce (@pierce) 1505241157000
Apple just tried to demo Face ID and it failed. Get ready for a lot of that
Tom Warren (@tomwarren) 1505241197000
Folks at the The Wired and The Verge were there at the Steve Jobs theatre and didn’t like what they saw. Tom Warren even warned users to be ready for more of that to happen.
I love the fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 5, it’s so fast!
Carl Pei (@getpeid) 1505240764000
The co-founder of OnePlus also decided to throw some shade at Apple. In a well-timed Tweet, he tackily mentioned how fast the fingerprint sensor in the OnePlus 5 is and how it won’t let you down.