The iPhone 5 Production And The Quality Control Inspectors Strike


Apple Inc., an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers, develops a new product again: the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is a touchscreen-based smartphone, which means it is a mobile phone built on a mobile operating system with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than a feature phone, with an electronic visual display that can detect the presence and location of a touch within the display area. 

iPhone 5, succeeding the iPhone 4S, is the sixth and most recent generation of the iPhone, a line of smartphones designed and marketed by the said company. Unlike its predecessor, the new iPhone 5 has a bigger 4-inch screen rather than the traditional 3.5-inch screen and a smaller 8-pin dock connector; and is also lighter, thinner and faster. It is the first to support a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio (proportional relationship between its width and height), similar to most high definition televisions (“HDTVs”) currently sold and matching much newer content that’s delivered in the same aspect ratio. It means it provides a resolution that is substantially higher than that of standard-definition television. 

Other new features include a custom-designed ARMv7 processor called the Apple A6, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed by Apple Inc, an update to Apple’s mobile operating system known as iOS 6, and support for the first time, the LTE (“Long Time Evolution”), marketed as “4G LTE,” a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals) which in telecommunications means the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. 

While reception to the iPhone 56 has been generally positive, the new Maps application, a mapping service application developed by Apple Inc. for its iOS mobile operating system, has been negatively received and was reported to contain many serious errors. Several hardware issues have also received criticisms from consumers and reviewers, including an unintended purple blue hue in photos take by the iPhone 5 and an issue with its coating being prone to chipping. In addition, there have been a small number of reports claiming a light leak around the bezel near the top of display. Also, some incompatibilities with certain LTE networks are an issue; despite being the first Apple phone to support LTE. 

The product was announced on September 12, 2012, on an Apple event to formally introduce their product. After Apple began taking pre-orders on September 14, 2012, over two million were received within 24 hours. Initial demand for the iPhone exceeded the supply available at launch, and has been described by Apple as “extraordinary” with pre-orders having sold out twenty times faster than its predecessors. It is scheduled to begin shipping on September 21, 2012. 

Apple claims it is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with its official slogan as “The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” 

The components and labor required to construct the most basic iPhone 5 is estimated to cost US$207, which is US$19 more than the cost of components for the corresponding iPhone 4S model. The 4G LTE module in the iPhone 5 alone costs $34, $10 more than the cellular module in the iPhone 4S. Similarly, screens used in the iPhone 5 costs $44, which is $7 more than the screen of its predecessor. Mashable, a Scottish-American news website and Internet news blog founded by Pete Cashmore, noted that the profit margin of selling each device is “huge” as the iPhone 5 retails for US$649. n n 

Subsequently, after the announcement of the device, a lack of supply of the iPhone 5 was evident. This was due to shortage of components such as the screen; reports emerged, stating that Sharp was unable to ship the screen before the debut of the iPhone 5 and other manufacturers reported that it was difficult to keep up with demand. As a result, the number of pre-orders rose due to the uncertainty of stock at retail stores and the delivery dates for pre-orders were postponed to dates that were after the initial release date of the divorce. 

China Labor Watch (“CLW”), a New York-based non-governmental organization founded by labor activist Li Qiang in October 2000, reported that “three to four thousand” Foxconn workers–“Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. is a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Tu Cheng, New Taipei, Taiwan–who work at iPhone 5 production plant in Zhengzhou, the capital and largest city of Henan province in north-central China, stopped working in October 5, 2012. Apple has imposed a stricter quality standard in their products, which include a 0.02mm restriction on indentations inflicted during production and demands related to scratches on frames and back cover. The strike occurred after the imposition of these new standards and the employer forcing employees to work in a public holiday.The report also stated training was inadequate for quality demands expected and led to employees producing products that did not meet standards. During the strike, conflicts between quality control inspectors and employees resulted in brawls, China Labor Watch also claim that concerns raised by inspectors were not addressed by factory management. Foxconn spokesman admitted to a problem, in the micromanagement, but he said that there were only 300 to 400 workers absent and the conflicts did not influence production processes at all. In November 2012, Foxconn chairman, Terry Gou, Taiwanese tycoon, reported that delay was due to undisclosed difficulties in assembly, The Register, a British technology news and opinion website, states that it has been previously suggested that iPhone 5s are getting turned back by quality control inspectors possibly due to the device being “physically scratched during production.

See: Looking for signs of disease through check-ups


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