A Foxconn official who declined to be named has revealed to the press that Apple’s latest smartphone is the most difficult device Foxconn has ever manufactured. The executive also confirmed that some of the brawls reported at its factories were, in part, related to the stress caused by the uneasy assembly process.
In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog, a Foxconn official who asked to remain anonymous said “The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,”
“To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated,” he said.
However, things are improving on this front, the informant added. He specifically said, “It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.”
A widely-reported conflict between low-level workers and quality control members is said to have been caused, in part, by the difficult manufacturing process of the iPhone’s aluminum case.
The executive said, “The Zhengzhou site, which was set up in 2011, is still pretty new to us. We are still learning how to manage the work force there.”
The iPhone 5 boasts a matte enclosure made from anodized aluminum which permits a fine coating but is also susceptible to scuffs and dings.
Some iPhone 5 buyers noticed damage to the enclosure of their respective handsets as they took them out of the box for the first time.
Because of this, analysts have lowered their initial sales projections for the latest Apple iPhone. Although the Cupertino, California-based computer giant shipped a record amount of handsets, Wall Street expected the number to be much higher.
The aforementioned production hurdles eventually forced them to lower their estimates, impacting Apple’s stock price in the process.