Apple rejected 5-8 million iPhones and returned to Foxconn due to poor build quality, says source

“Details of just what went wrong are sketchy, as the source for this tale is an anonymous Foxconn staffer chatting to China Business,” Simon Sharwood reports for The Register.

“That report, after being forced through a couple of translation engines, suggests Apple sent back at least five million iPhones, and maybe as many as eight million, ‘due to appearance of substandard or dysfunctional problems,'” Sharwood reports. “With a cost to manufacture of $US200 apiece, Foxconn is apparently preparing to take a hit of up to $1.6bn to cover the cost of making replacement handsets.”

Sharwood reports, “China Business is silent on which model of iPhone failed Apple’s quality tests.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, who’s up for a game of Chinese whispers?

If this report is true, most likely these were iPhone 5 units, early in the production ramp last year when reports of problems came to light.

Related articles:
Apple’s choice aluminum for iPhone 5 said to slow down production output – October 10, 2012
Foxconn Labor disputes said to disrupt iPhone production for 2nd time – October 9, 2012
Foxconn denies plant strike report; Apple shares down with many U.S. stocks – October 8, 2012
Foxconn: No strike at China iPhone plant; production remains on schedule – October 6, 2012

26 Comments

      1. It’s up 1.82% just today as of about noon ET. It was flying up yesterday. What happens after hours this PM will be really interesting. It’s a Wall Street mind game, and most minds apparently aren’t up to the task. Where will the sheeple run?

    1. This is pure bullshit.

      iPhones come off the assembly line completely packaged and ready to ship. Any QA inspection happens on the line with sampling. To get that quantity of returns means a total collapse of QA, and that would result in a multi-line shut down causing shipment delays.

      We had no such shipment delays during the December or March quarter, ergo, this is a sponsored piece of crap.

  1. This issue has been know since before the iPhone 5 launched.
    A colored aluminum consumer device with sharp edges was just a stupid idea. It was an obvious mistake from the get-go and it’s costing them dearly in yield rates, inventory, returns and reputation.

        1. Is Foxconn slapping these devices together like apple pies?

          If the posted claim that one worker says 10 out of 100 iPhone are good and that 5-8 million are being returned — could mean FOXCONN is messing up. And that’s, all not Apple messing up. It expresses Apple insists on good quality – Period.

        2. Actually, bad edges only came in the first batch of iPhone 5. Yes, there were cases of that, and Apple replaced those units eventually. However, no such problems since then.

          1. hence quality control is still Apples’ job one — stand…
            return the entire batch, we are not paying for this sloppy workmanship Foxconn… fix it.

  2. It has to be said outright: this is complete and total BS yellow tabloid, triple wrongly translater made up rumour.

    Every iPhone devices undergoes multiple automatic testing at the end of an assembly line, and then certain units of every batch get extensive manual testing. Of course, quality issues always exist in some proportion (tinies for iPhone comparing to all other brands, though), but there is no way there could be “5-8 million” bad devices. This is blatant nonsense.

  3. I’ve said it many times: the only way to ensure consistent, timely, high-quality builds is to do it yourself. Sure, Dell needs to build in China because it’s squeezing margins and delivering cheap plastic snap-together hardware. Apple has positioned itself as the quality leader, but Mr. Supply Chain genius once again screwed the pooch. How on earth is it even possible to reject that many units before decisive corrective action is implemented? Heads should roll, starting at the top. Cook isn’t getting the job done. And the board should take back the obscene stock reward they gifted him to “entice him to stay on”.

  4. it means that Apple should take action itself as faster as possible to build its own manufacture in american soil. otherwise, the company can’t avoid inevitable consequence every year. apple doesn’t want that. however it was great news that they have a plan to build factory for mac pro line in US. it is just start. but they should bring all back together before it will be too late.

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