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Foxconn workers reportedly strike over iPhone 5 quality control rules, say handset design is flawed

post #1 of 143
Thread Starter 
It was reported on Friday that three to four thousand Foxconn workers at the company's Zhengzhou factory went on strike over a rise in quality control demands for the iPhone 5, with the employees saying the new demands are difficult to meet given the handset's design flaws.

Scuffgate
Source: @Stormsein via Twitter


The report from China Labor Watch noted most of the striking workers were from the factory's onsite quality control (OQC) line, who supposedly are being held to a new set of exacting standards that is causing friction between production line staff and management.

At issue are the nicks and scratches some iPhone 5 customers are seeing on their newly-purchased handsets. The new quality control standards from both plant managers and Apple require indentation limits of 0.02mm, as well as other preventative measures to ensure scratches are not present on the phone's unibody shell upon delivery to customers. Further complicating the situation was a mandate to deny vacation time during the holidays, possibly in an attempt to churn out as many iPhone 5 units as possible before the Christmas season.

Supply for Apple's newest handset is still being overwhelmed by high demand as reported component yields for cutting edge parts are lower than expected. An assembly line issue would further exacerbate production.

Workers complained the set of rules was too stringent and could not be met without proper training, however Foxconn management allegedly ignored the objections and in some cases were reportedly beaten.

According to the report, quality control inspectors may also strike given the recent events. Workers say a fight between line staff and inspectors in "area K" led to damage in an inspection room, resulting in the injury and hospitalization of some involved in the altercation. Following the incident, another fight broke out in the same area with inspectors once again being "beat up," while on Thursday threats of physical violence were reported in "area L."

The work stoppage brought multiple production lines to a standstill and it is unknown if Foxconn management has resolved the matter. Also unclear is how the strike will affect iPhone 5 availability, however shipment quotes from Apple's online store remain unchanged at three to four weeks.
post #2 of 143

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
 

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #3 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


At issue are the nicks and scratches some iPhone 5 customers are seeing on their newly-purchased handsets. The new quality control standards from both plant managers and Apple require indentation limits of 0.02mm, as well as other preventative measures to ensure scratches are not present on the phone's unibody shell upon delivery to customers.

 

The iPhone, as has always been the case, is not something you can just throw around. They have always been durable, but care needs to be taken to ensure that they don't scratch or scuff, if the owner happens to consider that an issue. 

 

Once again, the iPhone is made out of beautiful materials that - surprise surprise - don't take well to a lot of friction. 

 

Apple is ensuring that they get shipped out in an aesthetically pristine condition. 

 

If workers can't handle the quality control demands that Apple's higher standards create, then Foxconn should hire more workers, or the workers can go work at the plant that makes Acer and LG crap. Quality Control isn't quite as big a deal there, I'll wager. 

post #4 of 143
Beat away !!

Or whatever it takes !!

We want our iPhone 5's diamond cut edge to blissfully glisten.


/s
post #5 of 143

How dare Foxconn demand quality control. Pure slave labour, that is.

/s

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 143
Well, the "QC" didn't work too well for my phone which had a scratch on the edge coming out of the box. Still, I figured it would get more with age so I didn't care much.
post #7 of 143
Only Apple.
post #8 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

Once again, the iPhone is made out of beautiful materials that - surprise surprise - don't take well to a lot of friction. 

 

That may be true, and I don't have a case on my 5 yet, but it seems rather impractical then. A phone should be beautiful and durable. It probably gets tossed around the most in a day of anything you own by the nature of life.

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #9 of 143
Geez AI, give more details. What happens to the iPhone 5s? Will there be a delay? Can Foxcon hire new workers while the others strike? Details!
post #10 of 143

If they don't like it, then they can quit.

 

They are assembling Apple products, not cheap, Android junk, and they are expected to meet certain quality control demands.

 

Those workers who are not up to par should immediately be fired and replaced with more capable workers.

post #11 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

 Workers say a fight between line staff and inspectors in "area K" led to damage in an inspection room, resulting in the injury and hospitalization of some involved in the altercation. Following the incident, another fight broke out in the same area with inspectors once again being "beat up," while on Thursday threats of physical violence were reported in "area L."


Colonel Klink of Stalag 15 would never let it happen

post #12 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/153168/foxconn-workers-reportedly-strike-over-iphone-5-quality-control-rules-say-handset-design-is-flawed#post_2206011"]If they don't like it, then they can quit.

They are assembling Apple products, not cheap, Android junk, and they are expected to meet certain quality control demands.

Those workers who are not up to par should immediately be fired and replaced with more capable workers.

They're requesting for training. They don't mind doing the work, but when they're not properly trained and they're returning products back that seem to be in good condition, the other workers get pissed at them because they're adding more work to them.
post #13 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post


They're requesting for training. They don't mind doing the work, but when they're not properly trained and they're returning products back that seem to be in good condition, the other workers get pissed at them because they're adding more work to them.

We don't know what that alleged "training" entails, and perhaps they've already been trained, and it's just an excuse on their part.

post #14 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
...
Workers complained the set of rules was too stringent and could not be met without proper training, however Foxconn management allegedly ignored the objections and in some cases were reportedly beaten.

 

Beating the managers for a change. That must be communism at work.

post #15 of 143
Shouldn't machines be doing this work?
post #16 of 143

look,slack workers who cannot meet specific quality control should all be fired, then hire more, and more and more until you can find somebody who can actually do the job correctly.

Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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post #17 of 143
When I read this, I think of Bruce Lee's The Big Boss when he worked in the ice factory.

lol, that's mean.

141ikk1.jpg
Edited by Postulant - 10/5/12 at 2:14pm
post #18 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiePuss View Post

Shouldn't machines be doing this work?

It'll be a great day when machines could assemble an iPhone or Apple device without any human intervention whatsoever.

 

Foxconn could then fire one million Chinese workers, and nobody would ever have to complain about any "slave labor" or working conditions ever again. 

post #19 of 143
Of course with these stories we never get Apple's side and they always paint Apple in the worst light.

If this story is accurate we know that Apple's standards haven't dropped. I guess when Jony Ive said it was the most ambitious and complex process they've ever done he wasn't kidding, Perhaps this manufacturing process is to complex for Foxconn to handle.
post #20 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

The beatings will continue until morale improves

You know I actually had a T-Shirt that said that.  I got it in the Caribbean many years ago, always liked it.

post #21 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/153168/foxconn-workers-reportedly-strike-over-iphone-5-quality-control-rules-say-handset-design-is-flawed#post_2206019"]We don't know what that alleged "training" entails, and perhaps they've already been trained, and it's just an excuse on their part.

Lol I Don't know how all those Chinese workers decided at the same time that they lack training. They must live in the "lazy Chinese worker scum" dorm
post #22 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It'll be a great day when machines could assemble an iPhone or Apple device without any human intervention whatsoever.

 

Foxconn could then fire one million Chinese workers, and nobody would ever have to complain about any "slave labor" or working conditions ever again. 

 

Keep dreaming.

 

BTW, if you think the Chinese workers are already getting enough training, you must be smoking pretty heavily. People like you keep thinking those workers are just greedy or lazy bastards trying to blame others. You should go and work there for a month and you'll know the kind of work needs to be done to meet these standards.

post #23 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Beating the managers for a change. That must be communism at work.

I read that differently, the way I read it was the managers beat the workers in some cases, sort of like "shut up you, get back to work"
post #24 of 143

I am taking the side of the Foxconn workers on this one.  First, they are paid shit wages and I don't care that they work and live in China and that's the norm over there.  The profit margins for any iDevice let alone the iPhone are more than sufficient that Apple can and should be paying more given the stringent QC needed.  This of course should mean the QC should be met if you are going to be paid more.

 

This also brings up the fact that this design may not be the best fit for the materials.  Its time to design something that is more fluid and allows for better grip and feel in the hand instead of the hard, cold edges they are so fond of.  Look at the evolution of the iPhone to iPhone 5, From curves to structural aluminum and glass.

 

I happen to like my iP5 64GB Black (Only one itsy bitsy nick on the beveled edge) but if they had not gone anodized aluminum this time around the nicks and chips wouldn't show up on the black model so easily.  This is a design flaw and a let down in the Designed in Cupertino QC.

post #25 of 143
It is funny but the glass iPhone 4 series never generated such excitement. Wait is I think expectations are a little high.

By the way does anybody notice the lack of logic in this article. If suppliers where actually having problems delivering parts Foxconn wouldn't be staffing their plants with overtime and holiday work.
post #26 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It was reported on Friday that three to four thousand Foxconn workers at the company's Zhengzhou factory went on strike over a rise in quality control demands for the iPhone 5, with the employees saying the new demands are difficult to meet given the handset's design flaws. ...

 

Translation:  Workers are being told to be more careful with the phone and stop causing the nicks and scratches and they don't like it. 

 

I must admit I don't have a lot of sympathy for them since 3 out of 5 iPhones I've purchased has had some kind of manufactures defect. They seem to be arguing that they do good work but it's the "flaws" of the design that are the problem.  My experience with my phones (admittedly a minuscule data point), says the exact opposite.  

post #27 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorOO7 View Post

I am taking the side of the Foxconn workers on this one.  First, they are paid shit wages and I don't care that they work and live in China and that's the norm over there.  ...

 

You lost me right there.  The have above average wages actually, and it *does* matter that the norm is different over there.  That's kind of how you determine if they are "shit wages" or not right? 

post #28 of 143

Is the casing what AI is referring to as "design flaws"? it's a strange article.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsmOfAm View Post


Colonel Klink of Stalag 15 would never let it happen

 

Stalag 13.  

 

You know nothing! Noth-thing!

post #30 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

"shut up you, get back to work"

Very stereotypical, but my thoughts exactly. Ha.
post #31 of 143

Re the strike: if they’re not getting necessary procedures and training, than they AND Apple have a problem with Foxconn!

 

Re iPhone scratches: no, they shouldn’t come scratched from the factory, but do the zillion plastic-and-paint phones that everyone else is churning out somehow resist impacts with hard objects? (And do they ever arrive with the paint scuffed out of the box?) No phone ever will be "scratch proof." Even a diamond can be cut, chipped, and yes, scratched.

post #32 of 143

It's unfortunate that too many Apple consumers think the ends justifies the means....

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.- Marshall McLuhan

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post #33 of 143
Fights on the floor? This sounds like the movie Roadhouse. The only things it's missing is Swayze to cool things down.
post #34 of 143

To which holidays is the article referring?  Chinese people don't celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas to the extent they are in the West, nor are they public holidays.  This makes me doubt the validity of the article in general.  

post #35 of 143
Originally Posted by Commodification View Post
It's unfortunate that too many Apple consumers think the ends justifies the means....

 

It's unfortunate that you think what you're thinking about this.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
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post #36 of 143

China is on holiday all the days of this week.

post #37 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Beating the managers for a change. That must be communism at work.

I read that differently, the way I read it was the managers beat the workers in some cases, sort of like "shut up you, get back to work"

 

I'm sure that's what it meant, but that's not what it said.

post #38 of 143

I suspect that this issue was WELL known by Apple before the first iphone 5 arrived in a customer's hands.  When I picked up my IP5 early on day one at the ATT store, the salesman took mine out of the box and visually inspected it from all angles, particularly the beveled edges.  At the time, I thought he was being conscientious but in hind sight, I now believe that they had been instructed beforehand to do a thorough visual inspection before handing any IP5 to a customer.  I spotted the other ATT salespeople doing the same routine. I can say that mine was pristine out of the box and immediately went into a gel case to keep it that way, but that has been my routine with all my iphones (owned each gen and purchased each on day one).  I have to say that I was a bit surprised that Apple did NOT go with a polished bevel edge on the black model (ie like they did on the white) as that would have been very sharp in appearance and at the same time less vulnerable to showing minor abrasion to that edge.

post #39 of 143
Your point of view is totally out of whack with reality. I really hope you are not registered to vote!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorOO7 View Post

I am taking the side of the Foxconn workers on this one.  First, they are paid shit wages and I don't care that they work and live in China and that's the norm over there.  
First off they are paid very good wages. That is why the Chinese line up by the thousands to apply for openings there.
Quote:
The profit margins for any iDevice let alone the iPhone are more than sufficient that Apple can and should be paying more given the stringent QC needed.  This of course should mean the QC should be met if you are going to be paid more.
What does quality control have to do with ones pay rate? You either do the job to the standard you where hired for or you don't. If you don't you give up your job eventually to somebody that can.

Think about this if you hire a welder to weld up some pipe and those welds leak afterward would you accept the welder saying "well geez you didn't pay me enough for leak free welds". Either you agree to do the job you elected to do or you are a sleazy scum bag that can't live up to his commitments.
Quote:

This also brings up the fact that this design may not be the best fit for the materials.  Its time to design something that is more fluid and allows for better grip and feel in the hand instead of the hard, cold edges they are so fond of.  Look at the evolution of the iPhone to iPhone 5, From curves to structural aluminum and glass.
OK what is the problem with iPhone 4, I'm using one right now to respond to the nonsense you have posted here. No design is perfect but do realize that in the case of iPhone form follows function. It is shaped the way it is for maximum utilization of a given amount of space.
Quote:
I happen to like my iP5 64GB Black (Only one itsy bitsy nick on the beveled edge) but if they had not gone anodized aluminum this time around the nicks and chips wouldn't show up on the black model so easily.  This is a design flaw and a let down in the Designed in Cupertino QC.

Don't be a total ass!!!!! Really guy if the paint gets chipped on your car is it a design flaw? How about on your fridge? How about the kitchen table? Apparently in this new America we are experiencing anything that doesn't live up to someone's personal evaluation is some how a design flaw. Let me throw out this consideration, you bought the device now live with it. Nothing in this world is perfect, not your car, not your iPhone and certainly not the space shuttle. It is a certain detachment from reality to run around believing that anything can be made perfect.
post #40 of 143
Is anyone else put off by the writing in this article? Since when do people in China want to take off for Christmas? And who, exactly, is beating the Foxconn management? You'd think they'd be fired for that. How dependable is this report, anyway?
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