Choice of aluminium behind delay in iPhone 5 availability

When Apple launched the iPhone 5, some of its buyers were displeased, as the headset came with some scratches on them out of the box. This did not sit well with the higher-ups at Apple is well known for the finishing of its products. Though he may have not admitted it, Apple’s Phil Schiller has issued a statement which read, “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal”. Now, a report by Bloomberg states that the choice of aluminium used in the iPhone 5 has slowed down production of the handset.

As per the report, the author states that the scrapes and scratches that are found on the Apple iPhone 5 are due to the choice of aluminium used as the rear casing in order to make the device lighter and thinner. The report states that towards the end of September, senior Apple managers told executives at Foxconn to tighten production standards.


Scratches found on the device


The report by Bloomberg states, “Stricter benchmarks have hampered production of the iPhone 5’s anodized aluminum housings, forcing Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317) to idle factories, the person said. The slowdown is heightening supply concerns that have cost Apple about $60 billion in market value since the iPhone debut -- a shortcoming of the drive to imbue products with qualities that make them alluring yet more difficult to manufacture.”

The report goes on to quote Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc analyst Shaw Wu who states that the iPhone 5 is not easy to put together because of its minimalistic design. He goes on to add that Apple has very high levels of standard where each model of the handset is a replica of the next and the variance is measured in microns.

The report by Bloomberg adds, “For those working on assembly lines with enough anodized aluminum housings for production, the pressure has intensified, because the iPhone 5 is more delicate and easier to scratch during the assembly process, said five factory workers interviewed by Bloomberg News outside the Zhengzhou plant. They spoke on condition that their full names not be used.”

In an official statement late last month, Apple had announced that it has sold over five million units of its iPhone 5 smartphone, three days after its launch on September 21. Apple went on to share further that over 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6. “Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

Published Date: Oct 11, 2012 01:20 pm | Updated Date: Oct 11, 2012 01:20 pm