Foxconn chair says supplier is falling short of meeting demand for iPhones

7 Nov 2012

Apple's iPhone 5

Terry Gou, chairperson and president of Foxconn, has said the complicated assembly of iPhones is causing the Chinese manufacturing giant to struggle to meet consumer demand.

“It’s not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand,” Gou commented after a business forum, Reuters reports.

Workers at Foxconn’s main plant are responsible for assembling iPhones, but brokerage reports say Foxconn International Holdings, another plant that assembles non-Apple products, has taken on some of this production strain. Gou did not comment on this.

Gou also did not specify which iPhones are causing the problem, but it’s assumed the new iPhone 5, with its lighter and slimmer design, is causing difficulty.

The aluminium casing on the new device is also more susceptible to scuffs and scratches in assembly, requiring tighter quality control at the plant. According to the The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, recent conflicts among workers stem from disagreements between production-line workers and those involved in quality control.

Orders online for the iPhone 5 currently ship in three to four weeks.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.