I’d read before that Apple’s supplier (Foxconn) was having trouble assembling iPhone 5s to Apple’s standards… but this article contains some shocking stats: “Apple Returns Millions of Defective iPhone 5 Smartphones.”
Millions… 5 to 8 million defective phones returned. Foxconn has only been able to achieve an 80% quality rating… suggesting 2 in 10 have some sort of problem. What were Apple’s expectations? Shockingly low.
The agreement between Apple and its outsourced manufacturer allegedly states that a 90 percent quality rate is required (meaning only 1 out of 10 iPhones are allowed to be broken).
I’m pretty shocked that Apple expected (or allowed) a 10% defect rate.
The bad working conditions at Foxconn have been well documented (including this previous blog post of mine).
This goes to show there are multiple definitions of quality, including:
Fitness for use: Does the product, as designed, meet the customer’s needs?
Lack of defects: Not having physical problems or electrical problems
This is a VERY high defect rate for manufacturing. That’s hardly a six sigma quality level.
Having to take back the defective product add costs and hurts profit margins for Foxconn.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to receive posts via email.
Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.