iPhone 5 is the 'most difficult, scratchy device Foxconn has ever made'
Arguments between workers and QA CAUSED THOSE RIOTS
We've heard it before, but this time a Foxconn exec said it straight to the Wall Street Journal: the iPhone 5 is really hard to make, the "most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled."
Many words have been expended over the complexity of manufacturing the screen in the 5 but it seems as though its scratchiness is another production line problem.
"To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated,” said the anonymous exec to the WSJ. They were managing though:
It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.
The iPhone's new coating material makes it prone to scratches, which means that Foxconn have instituted a new quality check procedure to prevent scraped handsets being sent out.
The riots did involve disputes between employees and quality assurance staff he said, though he stressed that the disturbances had not interrupted the production of the iPhone 5.
And all the scratching and complex thin screen manufacture had slowed down supply of the iPhone 5 said the Foxconn exec, backing up Apple's assertion that their "disappointing" sales of 5 million iPhones 5s in the first weekend were down to supply shortages.
The timing of this anonymous interview is interesting. An iPad mini is expected next week, and it's possible that the Mini will have similar screen and casing to the iPhone 5 - so it could be that this leak is timed to control expectations about sale figures for the new baby pad. In the meantime it's interesting to get a view into the factory floors. ®
Re: Poor choice of materials?
Maybe they're planning a "repainting" service a few months down the line?
The biggest joke is how people talk about the wonderful design of Apple products and then throw them in a protective case covering the entire phone up apart from the screen.
Poor choice of materials?
Why would Apple design the phone out of such easy to damage materials in the first place? Mobiles have a tendency to be thrown in pockets with scratchy items such as keys, lighters, coins and are often thrown onto tables or taken to the beach. As a result, most touch screen phones now use gorilla glass to try and stop scratches on the screens, as well as thin screen protectors.
Seems like a poor design decision to me. If you have to wrap your phone up in a protective casing, all the effort into designing it thin and light is simply wasted. And as a fashion product, if it looks like shite within a couple of months because of the marks it picks up, once again all that design effort is wasted.
Of course the cynic might say that Apple wants your new device to pick up scratches and dings over time as a means of funding their repair service and as an incentive for you to jump to next years device...
The recent Samsung devices get a bit of stick for having "cheap" plastic backs by people who fail to have the intelligence to understand that a soft, flexible plastic takes a bump and scrape far better than an anodized lump of aluminium. Additionally, because Samsung allows the owner easy access to the removeable battery and micro SD card (lacking on an Apple product), the that same "cheap" plastic back can be cheaply replaced should the user desire...
Re: Your holding it wrong.
Sorry, I couldn't resist either
Re: Poor choice of materials?
Generally, aluminium and magnesium alloys are easy to cast and/or machine, compared to something harder like steel. It makes them cheap to process. Also, their relatively low density makes them suitable for stiffer parts, since for the same weight a greater volume must be used, giving shapes with a greater cross section.
However, you can use coatings, either 'hard anodising' or titanium nitride (lovely goldie lookin' like you see on some drill bits) or PVD (plasma vapour deposition, a ceramic material condenses on your part) as used on some posh wristwatches and bicycle rims.
Remember that gumpf Microsoft put out some months ago about their Surface being made of VapMag or somesuch? What they actually meant was magnesium cast parts with a PVD coating.