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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.

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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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 142


    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

     

  • Reply 2 of 142
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member

    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. 

  • Reply 3 of 142
    Beat away !!

    Or whatever it takes !!

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


    /s
  • Reply 4 of 142
    irelandireland Posts: 17,534member


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


    /s

  • Reply 5 of 142
    dr_lhadr_lha Posts: 236member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 142
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    Only Apple.
  • Reply 7 of 142

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 142
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 142
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 142

    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

  • Reply 11 of 142
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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.
  • Reply 12 of 142
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 142
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 142
    Shouldn't machines be doing this work?
  • Reply 15 of 142
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member


    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.

  • Reply 16 of 142
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    When I read this, I think of Bruce Lee's The Big Boss when he worked in the ice factory.

    lol, that's mean.

    [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/141ikk1.jpg[/IMG]
  • Reply 17 of 142
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    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. 

  • Reply 18 of 142
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 142

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 142
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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
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