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Apple’s Manufacturing Partner Explains iPhone 5 Supply Problems

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 10:41am

Apple’s stock has been hit hard in recent weeks by reports that supply constraints have cut into sales of the iPhone 5. In particular, reports have suggested that production has been slowed by tighter quality controls to prevent the iPhone 5 from shipping with scratches – a problem with this particular model.

Now, an executive at Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing company who produces the iPhone, has offered an explanation for the supply problems: the iPhone 5 is the toughest product the company has ever had to make.

“The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” the anonymous executive told The Wall Street Journal. “To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated.”

The executive also acknowledged the increased quality standards to tackle the scratching issue and confirmed that there has been some clashing between assembly line workers and quality control inspectors. Still, the exec told the Journal that Foxconn’s productivity is improving, which should hopefully help iPhone 5 sales.

“It takes time to learn how to make this new device,” the executive said. “Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.”

Apple’s stock was down about 0.4% on the day.

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October 17, 2012

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