It’s no real secret that Foxconn – primary manufacturer of most iOS devices for Apple – has struggled to come to terms with the new iPhone 5. Last month, we reported on the company’s toil to get the handset assembled without damaging the scratch-prone aluminum backplate, and now the company’s chairman has come out and admitted it hasn’t managed to meet the huge demand of the iPhone 5’s production.
As per a report over at Reuters, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou openly acknowledges his company’s shortcomings in trying to contend with one of the most popular smartphone releases to date. Although Foxconn is certainly no stranger to churning out millions upon millions of iPhone units for the enthused masses, it appears the issues with the aluminum have caused a great deal more damage to the company’s progress than perhaps initially assumed.
Not only does the new design mean stricter quality control measures, but staff on the assembly line are reported to have had confrontations with quality assurance staff, and with inter-factory angst never good for productivity, the latest and greatest Cupertino smartphone has been a huge test of Foxconn’s resolve.
"It’s not easy to make the iPhones.. we are falling short of meeting the huge demand," noted Gou, although he declined to comment on whether Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), had taken on a share of the burden to try to remedy of the situations.
Meanwhile, it is also being reported that Gou has stated that Foxconn has managed to pull together far fewer iPhone units than Apple has requested, and that since market demand so strong, Gou conceded his renowned iPhone-making outfit "just can’t really fulfill Apple’s requests."
Mr. Gou did not comment on specifically why this iPhone in particular has been the most difficult to manufacture, although I believe the revamped design, set with that aluminum back, is almost certainly the root cause of Foxconn’s woes.
For those looking to get their hands on an iPhone 5, it has been a real struggle in places, and the 3-4 week quoted shipping times have stuck for the past six or so weeks since the device first hit the market. With Foxconn clearly still not managing to cope, those shortages look set to continue, although with the holiday period looming, a solution needs to be found, and promptly.