The iPhone 5 is without a doubt the most sought after new phone this year (sorry, Samung Galaxy SIII), and with the large amount of interest and demand it is getting, supply is surely going to take a hit. Shortages of the iPhone 5 is practically expected at this point but the supply shortage is being compounded by one unforeseen factor – quality control.
One of the first comments about the iPhone 5 when people finally got their hands on it was that the phones were coming out of their packages with scuffs and scratches. Apparently, since aluminum (the material that is now used for the iPhone’s chassis) is a softer material, it was more prone to damage.
The complaints has led what some people are speculating as a quality control reassessment down at Foxconn, the subcontracted manufacturer of the iPhones in China. The tighter quality control measures are now beginning to affect the output of finished iPhone 5s.
These manufacturing issues are obviously affecting Apple stock, with Apple’s share price falling significantly. Just this week, Apple’s stock price has been hovering at the $635 mark, a big drop from the $700 price it was enjoying just two weeks ago.
It will be solely up to Apple how to address these issues and take control of the situation. Pronouncements from Apple, like what Apple’s Phil Schiller said about the iPhone 5 shipping with scratches and chips as being “normal” is not going to help their cause.
In the end, this problem is not going to significantly affect Apple’s bottom line, but it will definitely lessen the good will Apple has so far enjoyed with Apple fans, which can hurt it in the long run.