Bloomberg has dug into the situation regarding the scratching some iPhone 5 customers were experiencing on the aluminum sections of the device. The report claims that Apple has increased it’s quality control standards in an effort to reduce the number of iPhone 5s that are being delivered with scratches. This move has slowed production however.
With Apple clamping down on quality control for the aluminum housing, a ripple effect has made it’s way down Apple’s manufacturing chain, and production at one of Foxconn’s plants has now stopped.
These new quality control standards have put a new level of stress on the workers. In fact, some of the Foxconn workers interviewed for the report have noted that every step of the iPhone 5 manufacturing process has the potential to scratch the aluminum casing. This means a sizable number of iPhone enclosures aren’t making the cut. With increased stress and frayed nerves, thousands of Foxconn workers reportedly went on strike regarding the issue. Foxconn has since denied that such a thing ever took place.
So, it would seem that Apple has an issue on their hands. Workers are under increased stress to avoid scratching the components that will make their way into a completed iPhone 5, while demand still remains remarkable high for the device. Apple is in a bind to make sure these devices aren’t scratched before they make their way into customers’ hands, while also trying to pump out more and more in an effort to meet demand.
There is one thing I know about design: Good, fast, cheap- pick two, you can’t have all three.