Website Fast Company, citing a “source with knowledge of the situation,” reports that “June was a tense month for the engineers and designers on Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone team.”
Fast Company’s source says the tension was due to “software problems” plaguing the upcoming premium OLED iPhone, commonly referred to as the iPhone 8.
“If the software problems aren’t resolved quickly,” the report says, “the new flagship iPhone could even launch with major features disabled.”
Two features hang in the balance
Two of the major new features slated for introduction in the new iPhone are apparently affected by these reported “software problems.” Fast Company says the wireless charging implementation and 3D sensing capability of the device are victims of these issues.
The report made sure to emphasize that the issue with these technologies wasn’t the hardware that’ll be included in the phones to enable these features, but the software that controls that hardware.
Apple’s two options
Apple appears to have two options here. The first would be to simply get the software required to drive these features in shippable shape. That’d be the ideal course of action, especially as it would be awkward for potential customers to buy the new iPhone models but not be able to use two important features — though 3D sensing is arguably much more important for Apple to get right as quickly as possible than wireless charging is.
Disabling “major features” would cause some customer frustration and might potentially cause customers to defer purchases until the features are enabled, but if they are enabled shortly after the phones make it out to customers, such a course of action probably wouldn’t sink this product cycle.
Furthermore, if the reports that Apple’s upcoming premium iPhone will be heavily supply-constrained until sometime in the first half of 2018, then having some customers potentially…