Why Is Apple iPhone X's Face ID Not Working? It Could Be the Rear Camera

Apple engineers in stores may be able to resolve mysterious issues with Face ID by repairing the rear-facing camera and, if that fails, will be permitted to offer a full device replacement, an alleged internal company memo has revealed.

The iPhone X uses Face ID to verify a user's identity and provide access to their smartphone with a quick scan using the front-facing camera. While the exact technical links to the back remain unclear, complaints posted online by customers who have suffered issues in the past indicated there is a hardware connection.

The memo was obtained and first detailed by blog sites MacRumors and 9to5Mac, showing the official advice given to employees and sanctioned retailers.

An attendee uses the Face ID function on the new iPhone X during a presentation for the media in Beijing, China, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

"If a customer reports that their iPhone X is having Face ID issues, you may be able to resolve the issue with a rear camera repair," the document stated. "Run AST 2 on the customer's device to check the camera. If the diagnostics find issue with the camera, perform the repair to see if the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, perform a whole unit replacement instead of a same-unit display repair."

The policy was set "in order to provide the best customer experience," the memo said. The iPhone X, Apple's most expensive handset at $1,000, was released in November last year and has dominated the smartphone market ever since.

Five months ago, Reddit user Razerx1 first highlighted the problem, claiming that both the rear camera and Face ID stopped working at the same time. This, the individual claimed, left features including time lapses and slow motion broken. At the same time, the device's front-facing camera was reportedly working as normal.

Razerx1 later wrote in the thread under the post on the iPhone subreddit: "Confirmed this was a rear camera problem. I was talking to the Genius Bar guy and he said that the cameras are connected. The lenses differ on what they do. The wide angle did the ones that worked and is connected to the front facing camera.

"The telephoto is connected to the true depth and was not working. So, there you have it! Hardware problem and I have my new phone in hand."

An attendee uses the Face ID function on the new iPhone X during a presentation for the media in Beijing, China October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. According to Fortune, Apple engineers would have previously replaced the iPhone X's front screen.

Despite market analyst speculation that the flagship smartphone was underperforming, CEO Tim Cook said in the company's quarterly financial results, published May 1, that it had actually seen "strong revenue growth."

"Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter," Cook elaborated. "We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20 percent growth in Greater China and Japan," he added. Apple posted quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, an increase of 16 percent from the same time last year.