iPhone 12 has smaller notch but keeps Face ID biometrics, Apple production volumes uncertain

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Leaked images on Twitter feature an iPhone 12 with a smaller notch with the same number of sensors to keep Face ID biometrics fully functional, writes Pocket-lint. Based on the image, this is made possible by moving the speaker into the phone’s bezel and grouping the infrared camera, dot projector, flood illuminator, with the proximity and ambient light sensors together.

Apple has not made the move to in-display fingerprint sensors and has stuck with detailed biometric facial recognition tech for authentication, which measures facial depth. Other manufacturers that operate on Android OS have implemented in-display fingerprint sensors.

Despite coronavirus fears and a production stall like many companies are struggling with, Apple wants to boost iPhone output by 4 percent by March next year, Nikkei has learned, and has asked parts suppliers to escalate production. As the industry may be facing component shortages, Apple might stock up on its 5G new model phones for shopping season, with more 5G phones expected to be launched.

“Apple’s production outlook is pretty bullish, and we will need to assess whether it is based on a realistic demand [forecast],” an executive at a components company told Nikkei. “Actual production could be 10 percent to 20 percent lower.”

Global smartphone demand has decreased since COVID-19 hit so parts suppliers want to avoid jumping too fast into Apple’s production, without properly analyzing the situation. Apple is expected to have a 10 percent drop compared to expectations prior to the crisis, as its supply chain relies on China, where production has slowed down and workers have been fired, reports the Financial Times. Operational restrictions have not been lifted at parts and semiconductors-makers in the Philippines and Malaysia.

iPhone assembly manufacturer Foxconn has fired the workers hired in February to increase production and cut overtime payments, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.

The publication spoke with workers who said overtime stopped on April 10 and confirmed the impact the virus had on production, especially due to the U.S. situation.

Another large Apple component manufacturer, Taiwan-based Pegatron, has also fired a thousand temporary workers.

Research group TrendForce projected Apple smartphone production would drop from 200 million units to 180 million, while Goldman Sachs expects a 36 percent shipment drop this quarter.

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