Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou admitted last Wednesday that crushing demand for the iPhone 5 has proven to be too much for the manufacturing company. They are finding it difficult to meet the significant demand for Apple’s latest smartphone, as they struggle to produce the device.
Because of this, sales of the iPhone 5 have been held back by limited supply since its launch last September. Apple itself said that they were “completely blown away” by the device’s consumer demand. The company’s spokeswoman Nat Kerris stated, “Pre-order for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response.”
It was reported last September that sales of the latest mobile device during its launch weekend broke records. However, the 5 million units sold came below Wall Street’s expectations.
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, the sales shortfall is partially because Apple’s sales figure could include all phones that were pre-ordered online. He believes that it would add up to another one million units, as the Cupertino-based company quickly sold out their launch-day stock.
Apple’s iPhone 5: A Difficult Device to Assemble
It was reported that the handset’s in-touch panel and aluminum chassis have posed quality control issues for both Apple and Foxconn. According to an unnamed source from the Chinese manufacturing company, the iPhone 5 is “the most difficult device” that the firm has ever been tasked with assembling.
The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled. To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated. It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improved day by day.
In relation to this, the executive pointed out that the company has taken steps to improve its productivity. They are also addressing the scratches found on the metal casings of some new iPhone 5 that were shipped. The exec noted that Apple’s latest handset uses a new coating material that makes it more susceptible to scratching. It was reported that Foxconn has implemented a new quality check procedure to reduce the chance of damages.
Last month, a rumor surfaced, saying that Foxconn has expanded their operation to a subsidiary known as Foxconn International Holding. This is made in an effort to boost the production. However, the firm’s CEO declined to comment about it.
Foxconn is the key assembler of Apple smartphones. It also owns FIH, which traditionally assembles non-Apple products such as mobile devices from Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.