Thanks to the iPhone’s 5 screen being so easy to take off, and replace, it has gained extra points in the repairability stakes. Although, the phone is much easier than its predecessors to take apart Foxconn have named it the ‘hardest device’ they have ever had to put together.
With the reinvented design being both thinner and lighter, as well the change in length, it has caused the phone to be packed from head to toe with technology, indeed if you look at a parts teardown it is literally crammed full.
This is the accepted reason for Apple to change the connector from 15 pin to Lightening – they simply could not fit it in. So not only were the designers at Apple scratching their heads trying to come up with a workable design for the iPhone 5, but the workers assembling the device are taking much more time to physically learn the way the device goes together.
The production is being said to be increasing as the workers get more familiar with the structure of the phone and they become more confident in the assembly.
Another reason for the heightened tensions in the Foxconn workplace, one that apparently resulted in the recent riots, is the new aluminum back plate, which is so susceptible to scratches and scuffs that employees are finding it unprecedentedly difficult to achieve a ‘perfect’ model.
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The riots are said to have broken out after quality checkers appeared to get on the wrong side of the assembly line workers. It would be easy to imagine how much pressure these workers are under, especially considering the high public demand for the phone and the fact that the device is becoming available in more and more countries every week.
The rumoured iPad mini is expected to have the same, or similar, backplate to the iPhone 5 so lets hope the manufacturers will be prepared and able to limit the stress and pressure placed on the employees, as well as finding ways to stop the backplates from getting unnecessarily damaged.