scratches on the iPhone 5

How important is a small scratch on an iPhone? In our class, one topic that interested me was product quality and its many definitions, dimensions, and quality systems. Through vacation trips and experiences around the world, I have obtained all kinds of products not knowing much about quality comparisons. I did not realize that there was a quality system like ISO 9000 that companies acquired. Learning this will help me better examine products before making the purchase.

On Forbes.com, there was an article that talked about the struggles in quality control. Thousands of workers for the production of iPhone 5 strike over workload and pressure. China Labor Watch claims that those on strike are mostly from the “onsite quality control” line. Workers not only have regular long hours but they need to work on holidays as well. On top of this, the precision and demand of product quality has pushed workers too far. Indentation standards are 0.02mm and workers did not have training for corresponding skills making it extremely hard for employees to meet the standards. Fights have started causing several quality control inspectors to be hospitalized.

Learning from the puppet production, the number of defects is high when you do not regulate and check on each worker. In my opinion, to ensure that every customer receives a product with no defects, standards need to be set high. I think it is reasonable for indentation standards to be 0.02mm. Do you think these standards are set too high? What do you think about this strike?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adriankingsleyhughes/2012/10/06/foxconn-quality-control-workers-strike-over-iphone-5-workload-production-lines-paralyzed/

8 thoughts on “scratches on the iPhone 5

  1. This is an interesting topic. I agree with your standards. They really are not too high, especially with a product like the iPhone 5. High quality products really should have the highest quality standards within their production. However, the labor cannot be exploited in the process. Working on holidays and with long hours just to make certain standards should not be acceptable. It is possible to achieve the this standard of quality without these negatives, and companies should really make sure they are not participating in these practices of abusing outsourced labor.

  2. I think standards are set really high but they are set really high by the market. No one wants to spend hundred of dollars and receive a damaged product and have to go back and exchange it because it’s a hassle. These workers have a very tough job no questions asked. However if it is truly unreasonable for them to meet the standards, I would expect Apple to change their quality controls around to make them more efficient. They might do this by shifting the responsibilities around or potentially hiring more workers.

  3. I think the standards are high, but they have to be for the iPhone and production of one of the greatest phones in the market. I do not agree with the fact that the workers have to wrok holidays though. It is already unfair and stressful to work long hours as is. I believe the workers have every right to be on strike. If they wanted to ensure the quality of the product then they should have hired more workers and taken the employee cost. It is important to have a high quality product, specially one that the world is looking forward to, but you also have to look after your workers, which is just as important.

  4. This standard is high, but for the price of the iPhone, it must be a great product with a high quality standard. I learned about Foxconn in my business ethics class and this factory provides extreme work conditions for the workers that are very unjust. I think the workers need to go on strike because the conditions are not fair whatsoever. They should be allowed holidays or get more pay if they are working them. I think that since the iPhone needs to have such a high standard quality, they need to train the workers better and allow them to have shorter hours because they would have less products damaged if the workers were in a less stressful environment.

  5. I agree with all the previous comments that standards are not too high for iphone 5 since its customers also have high quality requirements and expectations from the product. However, as you mentioned that workers were not well trained to meet a demand of high product quality, and also have to work for long hours. Therefore, I think workers have a right to go on strike. The company needs to balance between a high product quality and its training program. It can improve its quality control by ensuring that its workers are effectively trained. By being able to control its product quality, company can fulfill customer’s quality requirements and enhance customer satisfaction, which will eventually help increase its sales.

  6. I think I read an article somewhere where they talked about scratches on iPhone 5. Apple basically said that they knew about it and it’s normal to have scratches on a brand new phone. The quality control should be set high because the price of an iPhone 5 is really expensive. Apple knew it and they still proceeded to manufacture it, which in my opinion is a bad way of doing business. The other thing, could be the demand for the product and they decided to let it go.

  7. I also agree that standards should be that high for the iPhone 5. After all the iPhone 5 ranges from $650 to $850 unlocked.
    For that price it must be up to the highest standards. After all, Apple is known for the high manufacturing precision of its products. If they did not maintain the high standards they would loose their main competitive advantage.

    I am an owner of the new iPhone 5 and I have not experienced any out of the ordinary scratching with my phone even though I use it case-less. I just make sure to take care of my phone and not throw it around the place or keep it in the same pocket as my sharp keys.

  8. This article makes me remember about ISO 9000 is that there are 4 defects per million orders. From our paper puppets project that we did in class we found out that keeping quality is very hard to do. In an automated process as complicated as making phones I can see that maintaining quality may be hard but it is what the standard calls and was a blunder on Apples supply chain providers to not have trained their workers properly.

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