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Quality issues with iPhone 5's aluminum chassis slows production, report says

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Apple's decision to use lightweight anodized 6000 series aluminum for the iPhone 5's uni-body chassis has caused some units to show signs of wear out-of-the-box, prompting stricter quality control measures that have negatively impacted production yields, one insider says.

Scuffgate
Source: @rollermog via Twitter


A person familiar with the new production standards told Bloomberg that senior Apple managers instructed Foxconn executives to tighten quality control measures shortly after the iPhone 5 launched in September.

Just hours after Apple's sixth-generation iPhone was released for public consumption, some consumers began to complain of nicks and scratches on their brand new handsets, sparking a small controversy dubbed "scuffgate."

The report echoes a report from last week that claimed workers at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory went on strike over newly instituted quality control requirements and denial of vacation time. Though the Chinese manufacturer later denied the claims, the initial report noted that Apple had mandated a lower tolerance for so-called "indentations," bringing acceptable limits down to 0.02mm. Other preventative measures to ensure scratch-free iPhones were also said to be in place.

Foxconn representatives said its plants are running at full capacity, and no slowdown in iPhone 5 production has been reported. However, workers told Bloomberg that the handset's soft metal shell is prone to scratches in all phases of assembly, making it difficult to deliver a perfect final unit. As a result, fewer aluminum chassis passed through the tightened quality control standards, further constricting the iPhone's already short supply.

According to a person familiar with Foxconn's supply chain, production was halted at the company's Shenzhen factory due to lack of adequate housings. Foxconn officials denied any such work stoppage, and said production is instead increasing, though they declined to comment on specific customers.
post #2 of 71
No doubt at all that the black one scuffs very very easily. The silver/white is definitely more durable. If you go without a case, wrapping it is an absolute must or it will look like crap. I started going caseless with my black one and have 3-4 tiny little nicks around edges and one tiny scratch on back- already (and I was extremely careful). My wife's white, on the otherhand, just goes in her purse and she doesn't take as good of care (although still good)- not a scratch or ding.

Just something to think about if you're buying one in the future.

Needless to say, I got a catchif case for $9 for both of us until my wrap comes in- fits perfect and is super thin. Hate covering up this beauty. :-(
Edited by Andysol - 10/10/12 at 4:13am

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post #3 of 71

Hi AndySol,

 

Are you saying your wife has the iPhone 5 in white? I noticed you mentioned about the durability of it, but you said you had a black one.. Thanks

 

Dan.

post #4 of 71

Are any news that Apple is going to change the material (for white) and/or the depth of anodic treatment (for black) ?

post #5 of 71
I would used a transparent case if I had that phone. That way you can protect it and still see it.
post #6 of 71

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I have a black one. I've already dropped it a few times. The nicks on the corners are barely visible and honestly compared to my old iPhone 3GS, it's still a significant improvement.

I think when it comes to scratches, my finger print smudges on the screen and the back is far more visually distracting than any scratches so far on my phone!
 

post #7 of 71
What's the big deal?

Just don't hold it.
Any way.

;-)
Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #8 of 71
Hmm seems to me this is a meme the media created and they're running with it. I mean if this phone was that difficult to manufacture wouldn't that have been addressed a long time ago? Or does Foxconn need Apple's business so badly they do whatever Apple wants no matter how challenging?
post #9 of 71

After using my old iPhone 4 without a case for over a year and my 5 for a few weeks, I can say that the new phone is MUCH more prone to scuffs and scratches even in white.

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
Reply
post #10 of 71

I must say that after many iPhones that this is the first one out of the box that had some damage.  In fact it looked exactly like the nick in the picture above.  Now, I did carry the phone on several trips for a week or so prior to getting my Speck case and I have no additional visible scratches.  But I was very careful not to drop it.  Very very happy with this phone.

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

After using my old iPhone 4 without a case for over a year and my 5 for a few weeks, I can say that the new phone is MUCH more prone to scuffs and scratches even in white.
Him ive had my white phone for two weeks now and not a scratch to be found. Of course I am careful with it and don't throw it in a pocket with keys or coins.
post #12 of 71

Form over function as usual for Apple. No question, it's a beautiful device, but mine is scratched to hell already.

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post #13 of 71

The backplate of the unibody structure on my white iPhone 5 had a tiny nick in it fresh out of the box (i.e., I took the plastic off, and it was already there). I don't, however, have any nicks anywhere else on the device after a few weeks of using the device without a case (got mine on the 21st).

 

My wife's black iPhone 5, OTOH, has a noticeable nick on the top right corner. Only took one day for it to show up and she didn't even drop it. She is now using a bumper case on it.

post #14 of 71
My white one is fine. Not that I care. Every year we've heard about how this or that was going to get damaged easily. You simply don't hear that about cheap products because no one cares. I haven't used a case o my iPhone 4 for nearly 2 years and have dropped it many, many times. There is one corner that is scuffed from a bad fall but it surprisingly minor. If you really care then use a case or buy a phone that is build less like jewelry.

Now if you are buying it because of it's refined form and it's coming from the factory with damage then by all means get it replaced but I assume most don't care too much. I certainly haven't given mine a close enough look to see if there is any factory damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

What's the big deal?
Just don't hold it.
Any way.
;-)

Steve Jobs from beyond the grave, "You're holding it... period."

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

After using my old iPhone 4 without a case for over a year and my 5 for a few weeks, I can say that the new phone is MUCH more prone to scuffs and scratches even in white.

Great - I'm glad I'm forced to wait due to contract. If its not fixed by then I'm waiting for the next gen . Totally fine with the 4S. Don't need a remote control in my pocket anyway. More surface- more to nick.
post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Form over function as usual for Apple. No question, it's a beautiful device, but mine is scratched to hell already.

Recall?

Why didn't Apple use titanium?
post #17 of 71

This story should be good for at least another $20 drop in share price.
 

na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #18 of 71

Improve the anodising...

post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Form over function as usual for Apple. No question, it's a beautiful device, but mine is scratched to hell already.
Scratched to hell? What are you doing with it? I've had the white for 2 weeks and not a nick or scratch on it. Ok I left the protective film on the back (just trimmed off the top where the camera is) but the band and everything else is exposed and still looks perfect. I don't know how the phone can be "scratched to hell" unless you have it a pocket or handbag rattling around with keys and/or coins. And then the question becomes why would anyone do that knowing that metal can scratch.
post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

This story should be good for at least another $20 drop in share price.

 
And whoever wants the stock to drop will make sure more stories like this come out.
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

No doubt at all that the black one scuffs very very easily. The silver/white is definitely more durable. If you go without a case, wrapping it is an absolute must or it will look like crap. I started going caseless with my black one and have 3-4 tiny little nicks around edges and one tiny scratch on back- already (and I was extremely careful). My wife's white, on the otherhand, just goes in her purse and she doesn't take as good of care (although still good)- not a scratch or ding.
Just something to think about if you're buying one in the future.
Needless to say, I got a catchif case for $9 for both of us until my wrap comes in- fits perfect and is super thin. Hate covering up this beauty. :-(

The "white" model doesn't use color on the band, so any nicks would be much less noticeable. The stainless band on the 4 and 4S don't show any marks from use very easily because there is no coloring, but mine will show plenty of marks from a couple drops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodshotrollin'red View Post

Improve the anodising...

Apple has used anodized parts before, several generations of Nano and Shuffle were anodized aluminum. I think the faceplate of the Classic was anodized aluminum. I wonder how much of this is extra scrutiny from the users.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkfisher View Post

I must say that after many iPhones that this is the first one out of the box that had some damage.  In fact it looked exactly like the nick in the picture above.  Now, I did carry the phone on several trips for a week or so prior to getting my Speck case and I have no additional visible scratches.  But I was very careful not to drop it.  Very very happy with this phone.

The first iPhone 5 I got (white) had a nick that looked just like the one in the pic right out of the box. The second one I got (also white) got a nick that also looked like the pic after three days of use.

LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
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LOL people should just enjoy whatever phone they prefer and stop being d-bags about other phones they don't use. Fanboys are pathetic, regardless of whether they are Android or Apple ones.
Reply
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Apple has used anodized parts before, several generations of Nano and Shuffle were anodized aluminum. I think the faceplate of the Classic was anodized aluminum. I wonder how much of this is extra scrutiny from the users.

 

The anodised iPods have radiused edges. The iPhone 5 has sharp (45 degree) edges. Anodising doesn't like sharp edges, they are prone to chipping / wear.

post #24 of 71
Personally, I would rather have the scuffs and scratches than wrap the phone in a case. You just need to get over the idea of a phone being a precious piece that has to remain in pristine condition. Look at scuffs and scratches as adding character. 
 
But I will acknowledge it is annoying to have them straight out of the box before you even touched the phone. They should at least be your scuffs and scratches -- and not factory applied scuffs and scratches.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

The anodised iPods have radiused edges. The iPhone 5 has sharp (45 degree) edges. Anodising doesn't like sharp edges, they are prone to chipping / wear.

I didn't think about that, but some generation of anodized nanos had sharp square edges on the ends. I had one, and I do recall nicking mine on the ends with an impact. A couple generations of shuffles were shaped similarly too.
Edited by JeffDM - 10/10/12 at 8:20am
post #26 of 71

Like others have mentioned, my iPhone 4 was never in a case and it still looks perfect.  My iPhone 5 on the other hand is just a few weeks old and it has a nick in the corner already.  I really hate to think about getting case since it is such a beautiful device but I don't want it looking like hell in a few months even if I am so careful with it.
 

post #27 of 71

I got the black one, sadly as many have pointed out the black one is scratchtastic. General wear and tear, the screen is still perfect but the sides and back have nicks/scratches all over. 

I suppose I could use gloves whilst holding it and put it in a case but I shouldn't have too.

 

Never had a problem with my original iPhone, or my 3GS or my iPhone 4S.

 

The iPhone 5 got scratched the first time I put it into a GPS holder that never caused a problem with my 4S etc. Honestly mate, until you've had a black iPhone 5 don't comment on it, it is not the same as the white one which my wife has which still looks pretty good and she drops that in her handbag!

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post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverByThere View Post

Hi AndySol,

 

Are you saying your wife has the iPhone 5 in white? I noticed you mentioned about the durability of it, but you said you had a black one.. Thanks

 

Dan.

She has White Dan- sorry for failing to mention (I edited my original post)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillOuyang View Post

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I have a black one. I've already dropped it a few times. The nicks on the corners are barely visible and honestly compared to my old iPhone 3GS, it's still a significant improvement.

Will- you have to keep in mind what you said- the nicks on the corners are barely visible.  You havent even had it a month- and thats if you got it day one.  Now imagine two years from now...

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

My white one is fine. Not that I care. Every year we've heard about how this or that was going to get damaged easily. You simply don't hear that about cheap products because no one cares. I haven't used a case o my iPhone 4 for nearly 2 years and have dropped it many, many times. There is one corner that is scuffed from a bad fall but it surprisingly minor. If you really care then use a case or buy a phone that is build less like jewelry.

Solip- the white one is much better.  The 4/4S (i.e.- glass) won't show scratches like aluminum.  No one is denying the phone is gorgeous- but I think people should protect it.  A wrap is unnoticable and people will be happy they did it after a few months.  Don't know if you're married- but my wife gets her wedding ring cleaned and polished on occasion because of normal wear and tear and it gets all scuffed up.  Don't compare the iPhone to jewelry- because you simply can't "polish" or fix it- and if you have a scuffed up Rolex that used to be smooth white gold or platinum but now looks like beat up brushed aluminum- and you're ok with that- then you definitely shouldn't talk about fashion-sense.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


Great - I'm glad I'm forced to wait due to contract. If its not fixed by then I'm waiting for the next gen . Totally fine with the 4S. Don't need a remote control in my pocket anyway. More surface- more to nick.

The phone is awesome and worth the upgrade.  It's also much more durable to breakage on a drop.  There are only two downsides- 1- the connector (which will eventually be a huge upside once accessories can be made), and 2- the scratching- which won't be fixed.  The phone is absolutely incredible- and you're missing out- due to contract of course.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Scratched to hell? What are you doing with it? I've had the white for 2 weeks and not a nick or scratch on it. Ok I left the protective film on the back (just trimmed off the top where the camera is) but the band and everything else is exposed and still looks perfect. I don't know how the phone can be "scratched to hell" unless you have it a pocket or handbag rattling around with keys and/or coins. And then the question becomes why would anyone do that knowing that metal can scratch.

lol... so you had a protective backing and it didn't scratch?  Crazy.  ;-)  Seriously though- the white one is much more durable.  The black is finicky.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by huffcw View Post

Personally, I would rather have the scuffs and scratches than wrap the phone in a case. You just need to get over the idea of a phone being a precious piece that has to remain in pristine condition. Look at scuffs and scratches as adding character. 

Scuffs don't add character.  I'll sell you my beat up car and tell you it costs more because it has more character.  :-)  You don't need a case, per say, just a wrap.  Heck- you can even wrap the back and sides and leave the glass exposed.  The wraps nowadays you can't even tell they are on by looking at it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post

Like others have mentioned, my iPhone 4 was never in a case and it still looks perfect.  My iPhone 5 on the other hand is just a few weeks old and it has a nick in the corner already.  I really hate to think about getting case since it is such a beautiful device but I don't want it looking like hell in a few months even if I am so careful with it.
 

Dead on- if its scratched a little now- it'll be a lot in 6 months- and I'm super careful with mine.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I got the black one, sadly as many have pointed out the black one is scratchtastic. General wear and tear, the screen is still perfect but the sides and back have nicks/scratches all over. 

I suppose I could use gloves whilst holding it and put it in a case but I shouldn't have too.

 

Never had a problem with my original iPhone, or my 3GS or my iPhone 4S.

 

The iPhone 5 got scratched the first time I put it into a GPS holder that never caused a problem with my 4S etc. Honestly mate, until you've had a black iPhone 5 don't comment on it, it is not the same as the white one which my wife has which still looks pretty good and she drops that in her handbag!

Again- dead on.  If you don't have it... well, you just don't know.  ;-)

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post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Form over function as usual for Apple. No question, it's a beautiful device, but mine is scratched to hell already.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I got the black one, sadly as many have pointed out the black one is scratchtastic. General wear and tear, the screen is still perfect but the sides and back have nicks/scratches all over. 

Too bad for you. But you're just one data point. I could tell you -- as another data point -- that I've had the iPhone 5 from Day 1, don't have anything other than a form-fitting slide-in/-out case for it (i.e., no bumpers, screen protectors, nothing), and there isn't a single scratch on it.

 

Perhaps you're just a sloppy handler of your devices.

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

 

Again- dead on.  If you don't have it... well, you just don't know.  ;-)

See above. Same reply.

post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 

Too bad for you. But you're just one data point. I could tell you -- as another data point -- that I've had the iPhone 5 from Day 1, don't have anything other than a form-fitting slide-in/-out case for it (i.e., no bumpers, screen protectors, nothing), and there isn't a single scratch on it.

 

Perhaps you're just a sloppy handler of your devices.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

See above. Same reply.

Incorrect.  We're TWO data points- you're one.  ;-)

 

And dude... YOU HAVE A CASE!!!! lol- you can't be serious?!?!

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post #32 of 71
This clearly shows what happens to the black one when scuffed. But also impressive performance.

http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s3-drop-test-116898/
post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 

Too bad for you. But you're just one data point. I could tell you -- as another data point -- that I've had the iPhone 5 from Day 1, don't have anything other than a form-fitting slide-in/-out case for it (i.e., no bumpers, screen protectors, nothing), and there isn't a single scratch on it.

 

Perhaps you're just a sloppy handler of your devices.

Do you have the white or black iPhone 5?

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post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Do you have the white or black iPhone 5?

Black.

post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

And dude... YOU HAVE A CASE!!!! lol- you can't be serious?!?!

Dude. Stop reading my post back to me.

post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

This story should be good for at least another $20 drop in share price.
 

Except Andy Zaky made a buy call today. Target $1000.

post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Dude. Stop reading my post back to me.

You can't see the idiocy in saying "There isn't a single scratch on it" and that you "have a form-fitting case for it" when the case covers the freaking part that could get scratched?!?!?!

 

There is no way you can be serious.  And if you are- please stop dumbing down the thread by posting in it.

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post #38 of 71

It is not extra scrutiny - just walk into your local Apple store and look at the black version, especially where they fit into the docks they have on display; they are scratched like crazy and it is immediately evident.  It was the very first thing I noticed when I turned the device over - the thing that stuck out in the first few moments.  Honestly, they looked like total crap, and I'm not exaggerating.  My impression at the time was that 'this does not look like the build quality of an Apple product.'

 

The thing to keep in mind is that this is after only a few weeks.  What will one of these devices look like after a year?  Ragged, that's what.

 

The choice to use anodized aluminum like this was a poor one; it is inevitable that the devices are going to look really awful after months of use, and that in turn will act as a withdrawal from the brand bank, as Steve used to say.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

The thing to keep in mind is that this is after only a few weeks.  What will one of these devices look like after a year?  Ragged, that's what.

 

The choice to use anodized aluminum like this was a poor one; it is inevitable that the devices are going to look really awful after months of use, and that in turn will act as a withdrawal from the brand bank, as Steve used to say.

I agree that it will look like crap in a year.  But I still think it was a good choice.  It's stronger than the 4S, lighter than the 4S, less sensitive to breakage than the 4S, etc. Its an absolutely gorgeous work of art.  I'd take the aluminum over glass anyday- People just need to protect it.  I know it sounds like beating a dead horse, but just wrap the back and sides and call it a day.  To go caseless will cause nothing but an ugly phone in a few months.

 

Maybe Carbon Fiber for the next one?  I dont know much about it though- would that scratch?  Or could it be nearly as beautiful?  The white and black are both works of art.

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post #40 of 71

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Edited by kellya74u - 7/24/13 at 9:08am
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