Craig Federighi, Apple’s best showman since Steve Jobs, took the demo screw-up in stride. But the stock fell and the internet went nuts.
A sampling of the coverage:
- Business Insider: Watch Apple’s Face ID unlocking fail during its big demo
- The Telegraph: Apple suffers embarrassing demo Face ID fail at iPhone X launch
- Mashable: Apple tried to show off Face ID, and it was so embarrassing
- MacRumors: Doubts and Speculation Surround Apple’s Onstage Face ID ‘Fail’ During iPhone X Keynote
- The Verge: Apple’s first Face ID demo failed, but it wasn’t Face ID’s fault
- Vice: Apple’s stock suddenly dropped after that Face ID fail
Below: By Thursday morning, Unbox Therapy’s over-the-top blow-by-blow had drawn 2.8 million views:
My take: I thought Apple would be crazy to kill Touch ID. But I’m pretty sure they’ll get this right by the time I get my iPhone X.
UPDATE: Yahoo‘s David Pogue got through to Apple:
Tonight, I was able to contact Apple. After examining the logs of the demo iPhone X, they now know exactly what went down. Turns out my first theory in this story was wrong—but my first UPDATE theory above was correct: “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.”
In other words, according to Apple, it was a Face ID demo fail, not a Face ID fail— the prevailing theory in the comment stream. Headline changed accordingly.