The iPhone 5 has been in short supply since it first launched two weeks ago. According to Bloomberg, this is because Apple has cracked down on quality control at Foxconn factories so that less devices are shipped with marks and scratches already on the devices.
Not long after the iPhone 5 was officially released to the public, some buyers began to complain about scratches on their brand new iPhone 5, which is due to the type of aluminum that Apple used to make the iPhone thinner and lighter. Now Bloomberg is reporting that senior Apple managers have instructed Foxconn executives to improve quality control.
Bloomberg sources report that due to the anodized aluminum and stricter production standards, Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has been idle. Steve Downling, an Apple spokesman, declined to comment, but Louis Woo, a spokesman for Foxconn Technology Group, whose units include the Hon Hai Precision Industry, denied that any factories were idle.
Every stop in the production process gives more opportunity for the iPhone 5’s soft metal exterior to be scratched, which makes it difficult to produce enough of the devices that can meet Apple’s new standards.
Some who received their iPhone 5 with scratches, and noticed scratches soon after opening, brought the matter to Apple’s attention. An unofficial response came from Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, in the form of an email to an Apple customer. Schiller simply said that with the soft aluminum used in the iPhone 5, scratches and marks are bound to happen.
So Apple’s stricter production measures mean that fewer iPhone 5 aluminum housing parts are being approved, which has resulted in slow production and output rates, causing longer wait times for iPhone 5 orders. But at least there’s a better chance we won’t have scratches or marks on our iPhone 5 before it’s even out of the box.