Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X, was announced on 12 September at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park, the tech giant’s new San Francisco headquarters.
It brings a whole range of new features to Apple’s flagship device a decade after Jobs launched the original, multi-touch iPhone.
iPhone X latest news
20/10/2017: Lawsuit claims Apple stole ‘Animoji’ trademark
Apple has reportedly been hit with a lawsuit that claims the company’s ‘Animoji’ feature infringes on an existing trademark.
The headline feature was placed centre stage when Apple revealed the iPhone X last month, which adds 3D animated characters that act like emojis. However, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the name ‘Animoji’ already exists as a trademark, originally registered with the US patent office in 2015.
The filing was made by lawyers acting on behalf of Enrique Bonansea, a US citizen living in Japan and owner of e-commerce and technology consultancy firm Emonster k.k., according to The Recorder.
It appears the dispute is not just over a name, as Bonansea currently has a messaging app on the iOS App Store that uses the Animoji name, which, according to the lawsuit, Apple was aware of and even tried to purchase the trademark ahead of the iPhone X launch.
“This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement,” the lawsuit reads. “With full awareness of Plaintiffs’ ANIMOJI mark, Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple.
“Apple knew that plaintiffs have used the ANIMOJI mark to brand a messaging product available for download on Apple’s own App Store. Indeed, Apple offered to buy plaintiffs’ mark but was rebuffed. Instead of using the creativity on which Apple developed its worldwide reputation, Apple simply plucked the name from a developer on its own App Store.”
It also claims that Apple attempted to purchase the trademark through a number of “front” companies earlier this year, but that Bonansea rejected each offer. Failing to secure the trademark, on 11 September, one day before the iPhone X reveal, Apple moved to try and cancel the trademark, according to the lawsuit.
Bonansea hoped to release an updated version of his app this year, but rushed to submit a new iteration in an attempt to prevent the public associating the trademark any further with Apple, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges this rush to market has caused “irreparable injury” to Bonansea’s product, and is seeking damages, as well as an injunction to stop Apple using the Animoji name.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
18/10/2017: iPhone X is now shipping from the Foxconn factory
The iPhone X will be very hard to find initially, if reports that the first batch of shipments amounts to just 46,500 units are to be believed.
The first shipments of the iPhone X have left Foxconn’s Zhengzhou and Shanghai factories and are now winging their way to retailers in the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Chinese news website Xinhuanet.com (via Digitimes). Neither site revealed why those two markets are the first to get their devices, but they’re obviously key sales zones for the manufacturer, which is pinning hopes on the iPhone X to boost its sales for the year.
Although Apple isn’t due to start taking pre-orders until next week (27 October) and it won’t be available in buyers’ hands until 3 November, retailers are prepping for the launch ahead of time so they’re ready to start sending them out as soon as pre-orders start coming in.
However, the 46,500 number is much lower than previous iPhone shipments, according to Chinese site Commercial Times, and some sites report that the complexity of the X’s TrueDepth camera, which enables its Face ID feature, is slowing production times.
While Foxconn will make 400,000 of the iPhone X a week, compared to 100,000, which was the original order, this still isn’t enough to meet market demand, Commercial Times said.
13/10/2017: iPhone X will hide notifications from everyone but you
The iPhone X’s Face ID feature will do more than just unlock your phone — it will also hide notifications from unfamiliar faces.
The lock screen on Apple’s next flagship smartphone will only show the content of notifications if Face ID recognises the face as the owner of the phone, according to Phone Arena. If someone else picks up the phone, the lock screen will not display the actual content of the notification, just the notification’s source. It’s a handy feature that could prove incredibly useful for maintaining a user’s security and privacy.
This feature will also be available on iOS 11 although it will work a bit differently since earlier iPhones lack the hardware to power Face ID. Those running Apple’s latest OS on earlier iPhone models will be able to go into settings and enable notifications with content only when the device is unlocked, much like the setting Android devices have used for a while now.
As reported by Mac Rumors, the technology used for Face ID is already being shipped to Apple, suggesting that this feature will be ready for the IPhone X when its released in early November.
29/09/2017: How will iPhone X’s Face ID work?
Apple has released a video explaining how its FaceID identification platform will work, revealing it uses neural networks to resist spoofing attempts. However, it would seem even Apple can’t explain exactly how the technology works, according to the BBC.
Because it’s been designed to prevent people that are not the owner from breaking into the phone, its behaviour “can be observed but the underlying process remains opaque,” the BBC explained.
Although it will be able to tell the difference between its rightful owner trying to unlock the device and someone wearing a mask that closely resembles them, it will never be able to reveal how it came to the conclusion the disguised individual wasn’t the person who set up Face ID.
“The developers of these kinds of systems have some level of insight into what is happening but can’t really create a narrative answer for why, in a specific case, a specific action is selected,” Rob Wortham, an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Bath told the broadcaster.
“With neural networks there’s nothing in there to hang on to – even if you can inspect what’s going on inside the black box, you are none the wiser after doing so. There’s no machinery to enable you to trace what decisions led to the outputs.”
However, Apple does explain very roughly how it identifies the facial features of the face trying to unlock the device, shining 30,000 invisible infrared dots on it in a randomised way (which will vary from device to device). The information is then turned into an encrypted mathematical formulation and then compared to the data gleaned from the owner’s face, which is stored in a secure compartment of the iPhone.
It’s this final part that uses Apple-developed neural networks that cannot be hacked or changed, or in fact, explained by Apple.
Facial recognition has come under quite a lot of scrutiny in the past, with people claiming it’s not as secure as fingerprint recognition, for example. However, Apple launching the video so far ahead of the iPhone X’s launch date will hopefully go some way to allay those worries.
UK release date
The iPhone 10 comes out on 3 November. There were plenty of rumours of supply chain delays in the months preceding the device’s unveiling, and it looks like they were true. While the iPhone 8 comes out on 22 September, roughly the usual time an iPhone comes out, the iPhone 10 won’t follow for another six weeks. However, it is available for pre-order on 27 October.
Even for Apple the iPhone X costs a pretty penny. At £999 for the 64GB model, the iPhone X is the most expensive smartphone Apple – or probably most major smartphone vendors – has ever produced.
Specs and hardware
A new six-core A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture (up from last year’s four-core A10) powers most of the iPhone X’s capabilities. It has 30% faster graphics than the A10, and runs 70% faster, according to Apple.
When it comes to storage, the iPhone X comes in only two sizes – 64GB and 256GB.
The iPhone 10’s 5.8in screen is Apple’s first to cover the entire front of the phone, which has a glass front OLED multi-touch display on the front, and a glass back as well – pretty sleek, but also pretty breakable, though it is toughened glass.
Its Super Retina HD display helps the Face ID feature (more on which below), while it boasts a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi. The screen includes 3D Touch, which allows you to execute different commands by pressing the screen with varying degrees of pressure.
Crucially, this edge-toedge display leaves no room for the home button, meaning Touch ID is no more.
Apple reckons the iPhone X lasts up to two hours longer than the iPhone 7, which itself lasted an impressive 13 hours in our review.
The iPhone X’s 12MP camera is the same – on the surface – as the iPhone 7’s, but boasts a lot more in terms of its software capabilities. Both larger and faster, this camera can measure depth with the TrueDepth sensor – key to the X’s Face ID feature. There’s also two of them, one front-facing and one rear-facing, both of course using optical image stabilisation.
Digital zoom on the lenses offers 10x zoom on photos and 6x for videos. The front-facing camera also offers a Portait Lighting feature using the 3D TrueDepth sensor.
It’s faster than ever before, too, recording 4K video at 60fps and slo-mo videos in 1080p at 240fps.
The A11 chip’s integrated neural engine powers the iPhone X’s Face ID feature, which replaces Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor of yore.
This facial recognition capability has been trained on one billion photos (and on rubber masks to distinguish between real and fake faces) to be able to recognise a user quickly and easily. Apple claims this means Face ID is so secure the chances of it being fooled are one in one million, compared to Touch ID’s one in 50,000.
In a lighthearted move, Apple has made use of the camera’s augmented reality technology to map your facial movements to various animals emoji,
The iPhone X will also support ‘animoji’ – animated emojis that uses AR technology to map your face and transpose your movements to certain Emoji, creating stickers and animated voice messages Naturally, the company has also partnered with Snapchat to optimise masks and filters for the iPhone X’s new AR capabilities.
This feature isn’t exclusive to the iPhone X, but Apple’s AirPower pad allows you to charge your iPhone 8, X or Apple Watch 3 without the tangly mess of attaching a cable.
The iPhone X is available in Silver and Space Gray on launch.