Apple Returns 5-8 Million Defective iPhones to Foxconn?

iphone_5_lteAccording to reports over the weekend from China Business [Google translation] and China Times [Google translation], Apple last month returned at least five million and perhaps as many as eight million iPhones to manufacturing partner Foxconn due to defects in either appearance or operation.

The reports indicate that it will cost Foxconn roughly 200 yuan ($32) per device to correct the issues with the defective iPhones, resulting in a charge of as much as 1.6 billion yuan ($259 million) to address the problem. It is unclear which iPhone models are affected by the issues, but Apple does not appear to be suffering from major shortages of any of its current devices.

The iPhone 5 suffered from quality control issues following its launch, with a number of customers complaining of scratches and other issues with their devices even right out of the box. Foxconn executives acknowledged that the iPhone 5 was a difficult device to assemble, with increased quality control standards contributing to production output below the company's goals.

As a result, it took Apple two and a half months to achieve supply-demand balance for the device, although the company was also pursuing its most aggressive worldwide rollout yet.

Top Rated Comments

HarryKeogh Avatar
111 months ago
Apple Inc.: I'd like to return these 8 million iPhones.

Foxconn: What's the problem?

Apple Inc.: There's a tiny scratch on some of them, a dead pixel on others...y'know, it's just when you spend several billion dollars you want them perfect.

Foxconn: Gotcha, let me talk to the manager and we'll see what we can do.

10 minutes later...

Foxconn: We can't exchange them but how about a $300,000,000 iTunes gift card?
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orthorim Avatar
111 months ago
I mean, I'm glad that Apple takes the customer experience enough to force their suppliers to get things right, but still, how does stuff like this happen at this stage in the game? This story comes right on the heels of news that production difficulties were pushing the launch of the 5S back several months. If there are problems that significant for a minor phone upgrade, what happens with a complete redesign for the iPhone 6? Come on, Apple, get your house in order!

Maybe Apple should go back to cheap plastic phones, like the others?

Seriously Apple insists on pushing the envelope, and I'd say at times that's bordering on the obsessive... scratch that, it *is* obsessive in a way that a lot of customers probably can't relate. But they do it, and they have the best looking phone by a mile, so you can't really argue with it.

Like the story of the MacBook Pro webcam. The designers wanted a green camera light when the camera is on, but they didn't want to have an ugly hole when its off. They wanted the light to shine through the aluminum. Well aluminum isn't translucent - but you can make a hole in it so small that the eye cannot see it to get the same effect. All you need is lasers. So Apple bought lasers for over $200M so its manufacturing partners can shoot tiny holes in the aluminum housing so there is no hole visible in the case.

I am sure there's stories like this about the iPhone 5, too. It's what makes it feel, as one review described it, "like a piece of jewelry". Like it was not assembled but formed from a single piece. Like a monolith. And it makes these hard or impossible to copy. You may have noticed there is not a single competitor that makes a phone this small with that many features. Because they can't.

That's why the manufacturers have so many problems making them. Not at all unusual for Apple.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
111 months ago
8 million defective phones returned and no supply problem created. Does this mean that sales aren't strong?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mccldwll Avatar
111 months ago
I am glad I helped contribute towards this. I returned at least 30 iphone 5s. All had some sort of issue out of the box. I officially gave up and will be moving onto the Galaxy S4.


LOL. You have zero credibility. Here's an earlier post of your's (and that probably wasn't truthful either):

"Not true. Back in November I did exactly this. I think they let me get through at least 5 phones before saying no more. All had various issues from:
rattling sleep wake buttons
Crooked home..."
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rtomyj Avatar
111 months ago
The iPhone 5, beside the still un-understandable screen size decision, is a catastrophy.

I have a bump case, which is a failure in itself because it ads weight, size, and covers the iphone, and still there are many scratches on my iPhone 5.

Like many many people reporting it, my lock button is ****ed up (can't reach it since it's too low).

BUT the very worst is the so called "new more durable" cable and socket that is already ****ed as well, and I have to use a piece of paper for it to connect, only on one side (the other doesn't work anymore).

It goes without saying that I'm going to replace my iPhone, but I'm certainly not buying another one anymore, tired of this un-innovative, overpriced, piece of crap.

Here we have the vocal minority folks. Perfect example too. Firstly, I have a "perfect" iPhone 5 on my first try. The 16:9 screen is awkward at first but I really like it now. Second, you want a new phone but you don't like the weight a bump case adds to a very light phone? So your content with a heavier phone with a case on it just because its not Apple, right? Third, dropped my phone and guess what? Not a scratch (say what!). Use my lightning cable like crazy, with two devices and guess what? Not a nick on it (**** be cray cray!).

Finally, I had buddies ask me for phone advice. I gave them many options, iPhone, Droids, Windows, even BB. Why did they choose the iPhone. For the screen size, apps and many more things. How is Apple not innovating? Better question who is in your opinion, and why? Catch: first Google "Gimmick"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GoCubsGo Avatar
111 months ago
"Apple Returns 5-8 Million Defective iPhones to Foxconn?"

Are you asking us or telling us? Yes, the rumor is they did return defective units according to a translated article from China Business. :D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
whatsintheboxiphonexs

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Won't Ship With Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Wednesday September 12, 2018 12:58 pm PDT by
Since the headphone jack was removed from the iPhone with the launch of the iPhone 7, Apple has bundled iPhones with a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter for customers who continue to have 3.5mm headphones. With the launch of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, Apple is discontinuing this practice and will not include the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. On the...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....