Quality control.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hibanzai, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. hibanzai macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Or lack off in the 4s. What's happened to Apple? Loose home button, yellow screen, and now it rattles when it vibrates like something is loose. Build quality is good, but the quality control isn't! Meaning, when all goes well, it is well. Seems to be hit and miss with the 4s though. I'm not the only one, browsing forums, you get the impression this is the norm, and people are actually used to it?

    It's my first iPhone, and I haven't seen any electronic device with such inconsistencies in build quality. Apple products are expensive, you expect a premium product, in every aspect, but it's not delivering yet. Usually companies release a uniform product. I've never witnessed a Nokia phone that was different in feel and appearance to another Nokia phone of the same model for example.

    I know in their macbooks they use different types of RAM as well, Samsung being the good one, and the other brand, the not so good. It's completely random, they hope for an average satisfaction across their customers, which I have yet to see this philosophy being put to practice in other companies.

    This example isn't re. build quality, it's just their philosophy re manufacturing. Tells a lot in my opinion. I actually feel embarrassed going every other day to the Apple store, asking for a new device because the one I have is defective.

    Thank God for their premium customer service.
  2. MultiMediaWill macrumors 68000

    Aug 1, 2010
    Your options are high quality 4S or plastic S2.
  3. jca24 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2010
    yup, and the s2 runs a donkeyed up os

  4. Gathomblipoob macrumors 601


    Mar 18, 2009
    Very few people post on forums when their iPhones are great and working well.
  5. isoft7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2011
    Remember, Apple doesn't make the phone, a company in China, paying slave wages to poor undereducated Chinese people do.

    The fact that quality is at the point it is really is nothing short of amazing and quite a testimonial to the work ethics of the Chinese in general.

    It's only a shame that so much bad juju goes into the production of these devices, people making a quarter a day, working 12 hour shifts in stuffy rooms.
  6. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Complaints such as this always accompany the release of any new Apple product as though suddenly their QC has vanished

    Some of the product will invariably make it through QC and have issues that need to be addressed

    Some folks will begin hunting for problems they never knew they had based on reports

    Some folks will be OCD and freak over a perfectly good product

    Some folks will complain about a product because it makes them feel elite

    The vast majority of folks don't frequent internet tech sites and happily use the product oblivious to the claims of the minority
  7. Jordan921 macrumors 68040


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
    My iPhone 4S came perfect. If you are so unhappy there are tons of other phones out there to choose from that'll make you happy
  8. glhughes macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2009
    I am in complete agreement with this sentiment. I have had 3 iPhone 4Ss so far -- each one with its own different set of problems -- and have returned all of them and all but given up on the phone (at least for a while).

    I also recently purchased a Magic Trackpad that came out of the box with a deep gouge on top of the "tube" containing the batteries. The replacement trackpad also has a similar manufacturing defect but it is on the side edge of the "tube" and only visible when looking at it from below (yes I was OCD about inspecting the second one!). I simply gave up and decided to keep that one since I can't keep going back to the Apple store every other day.

    Seriously, Apple, where is your quality control???
  9. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    People expect so much from Apple. Would you be saying all of these things about a Coby brand phone?
  10. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Quality control is only as good as the time, money & focus the manufacture is willing to spend on it. Apple set the bar well above the competition early on.

    They now know they can allow quality to slide down until customer pushback forces them to get better. In the mean time the amount of money Apple saves is substantial & greatly satisfies them.
  11. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    Ive noticed it too. Scratches on replacement iPhones. My returned 4S had a brown tint to the screen, not yellow.

    When I got my MacBook Pro's screen replaced, the new screen had scratches all over it.
  12. glhughes macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2009
    No, but I wouldn't buy a Coby-branded phone. I have been extremely happy with the quality level of Apple products up until this year. It is clearly in decline and that is quite unfortunate.

    I am probably in the minority with the following statement but I would not mind paying substantially more (maybe 25%?) for a product that did not have such QC issues. That used to be Apple's game.
  13. jca24 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2010

    If you are so unhappy with Apple quality don't but their products.

    Yes, there may have been some minor issues on some products. Apple will make that right. I have owned many Apple products and have never had an issue. I would hold Apple's quality up to any other company out there.

  14. DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    You would pay 25% more for an issue you can easily take care of under a warranty swap? I guess what P.T. Barnum said was right.
  15. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    With extremely fast-growing companies, quality sometimes declines. But my personal experience with Apple products has been excellent; my 4S has none of the mentioned issues except for the camera rattle (which some people say happened to their iPhone 4).

    And also, I bought the Time Capsule released this year with the extra storage and increased range, and it has been working flawlessly.

    I think the decline in quality you may be referring to is just with the 4S. And I don't think you're taking all things into account. There were issues with the iMacs (and still are) with a rattling hard drive and yellow tint. Those were not only this year, but prior years as well.

    I do not believe Apple's quality control is declining; my experience with all Apple products I've bought has been great.

    Also, aside from my statement about fast-growing companies losing quality, there is also the possibility that since Apple is spreading extremely fast and there have been record iPhone sales, it gets to the hands of more people and becomes more of a widespread issue simply because of the numbers.

    I think any "quality control" issues with the 4S is analogous to the yellow tint on the 27-inch iMac dating back to 2009.

    I personally believe quality of Apple products is only getting better.
  16. zipster macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2011
    Well, Apple went from a boutique, high-end gadget company to the most valued tech company in the world. Somewhere along that line, quality control has admittedly gone down. Even the best make "lemons" sometimes.

    Luckily, they also have fantastic customer service and are willing to replace defective products, usually hassle-free.
  17. glhughes macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2009
    As I mentioned above, the recent lack of quality control has not been isolated to the 4S in my experience.
  18. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Apple does not build these items so their fast growth has nothing to do with quality issues. They contrat for delivery of a product and the more that are made the more some units will just be bad.

    With each release I see plenty of posting about quality. Its inevitable.

    It is reasonable to demand high quality on an item in this price range, and I expect Apple to be monitoring its suppliers to ensure this compliance.

    Nevertheless, parts are never going to be 100% perfect 100% of the time.

    If Apple replaces your product, then you've really got nothing to complain about unless you are going through unit after unit and there are problems with each one.
  19. hibanzai thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    God, I hate fanboys. Buy another phone isn't a reasonable reply to my post. It's simply stupid. It has nothing to do with quality control in manufacturing. It answers to none of the questions I asked, nor is it an intelligent statement to make.

    I purchase a product because I need the product. This specific product meets my specific needs. I am a customer, and any sane customer with no brand bias and with reasonable standards will ask the same questions I did and request better quality control. I don't care for excuses made for a big company with the best resources in the business, and which claim superior quality and design to the competition.

    Some blithering idiots on this board. I suppose every product has its own demented zombie-like fanboisim.
  20. MikesGravity macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I completely agree with the OP. I've been an apple fanboy for years. Still am. But the quality control is just bad now.

    Would we be saying that about COBY? NO! This isn't Coby. We pay a premium for apple products and expect that premium to be justified by the quality.
  21. miragebg macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2009
    I also find a QC has gone steps below. My launch day bought 4S was
    returned due to screen issues ( very dimmer screen at the top, dead pixel and scratches on the metal band). Same day I took a replacement which had spec of dust under the screen and two minor scraches on the display itself under the glass. Otherwise it had perfect backlight, tint and zero dead pixels. I decided to give a third shot and bought another, this time white 16GB 4S. This one had lines over the entire screen ( interlaced effect), and completely awful colors ( like 16 bits colors on the old from 90's PC) , but zero cosmetic issues. In the end I just gave up and decided to hold the black version that had the best screen.
    Not good experience at all this time...
  22. Coley macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    I bought my first iPhone, after researching to find out what a good choice would be. I saw a LOT of complaints about issues with iPhones, but the benefits and the UI of the phone, when it IS working properly appeared to make it worth the risk. I still think it is.
    But then I saw a lot of people saying things like "Well, your chances of getting a defective product are low" "people don't post about it when their phone is perfect, it looks like it's common cuz people make a stink and post online only when there's an issue" and so on. So I decided to take the risk and purchase an iPhone thinking the chances of having any issues was pretty low as a result.

    My phone was assembled crooked, the home button didn't work about 50% of the time, there was light coming out of the earpiece grill, the headphone jack cracked the first time I used it, there was a huge gap in the seal around the screen and dust inside the screen like crazy; the thing had problems I didn't even notice that the genius pointed out at the bar later (of course those ones were minor to me, but apparently it had memory problems that did not meet standards nonetheless)

    My replacement phone had a lower quality screen and a home button made of plastic, if you can believe it. The home button gets all scratched up reeeeally easily and looks like a cheap replacement part very obviously, and the screen is fine/unscratched.

    However it works properly so I'm content lol

    Anyway. If the chances of getting a defective phone in the first place aren't so high, supposedly, then what are the chances that I get a replacement phone that has a lower quality screen and a cheap home button? In theory it should have been very unlikely if it really is just a small percentage of people that have issues. Just my opinion.

    But, still, the benefits of having the iphone outweigh some minor problems, for me. I have yet to find a UI I enjoy as much, and now my 'life' is kinda tied up in itunes, the calendar, and all that stuff, and it's easiest to keep going with iPhone.

    I tell you this though....my iphone 4s is due to arrive tomorrow. If I get yet another phone with issues, than I will be more skeptical of the "only a small percentage of people have issues" theory than ever and depending on the severity of the problem, may well be done with Apple.
  23. AIP5 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2011
    While I do agree with your statement, I can't help but interject this: On several drop test videos, iPhone 4S failed and shattered its screen and/or back glass miserably while SGS 2 retained minimal damage at various heights.

    I would much rather compare the SGS 2 to my old 3GS, which even after many falls has only a few scratches here and there. I know for a fact that my new 4S will barely survive a 4' fall, and the best I could hope for is a shattered back (but a functioning touchscreen).

    So you tell me, which phone has the better build quality? Sure, the iPhone 4S is more beautiful. But it feels, and for all intents and purposes, is more fragile than any phone should be. At least with the SGS2, you can have peace of mind of not damaging it left and right.
  24. hibanzai thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    You might be right, I don't know. I never owned a s2. This is not a thread about quality of materials used for manufacturing, or how sturdy a phone is. I am simply complaining about quality control.

    Every factory has a quality control department. Every factory produces defective products. Most factories reject the defective products and don't allow them to be shipped to stores, as they failed to meet the standards. My issue is that it seems like those factories that manufacture iPhone 4s' seem to have a dreadful quality control. They passed many a defective device to stores.

    If the Samsung s2 have a plastic cover, and feels cheap, it's because Samsung chose plastic. That's not a good argument. At least, all their phones look the same, feel the same, put together the same, they are identical! Whereas with iPhones, every home button has a different feel from the next iPhone, every screen seems to be different, put together badly, others perfectly. It's a mess!

    It could be that the Chinese factories are under pressure to meet a quota of devices shipped by the end of each week, which means some defective devices will end up being shipped. My disappointment is with Apple, for not recalling back those devices, and applying stricter quality control checks at the factories. They understand customer satisfaction, you can tell from the way they train their geniuses, do they not understand that brand loyalty goes so far until people feel cheated with less than satisfactory products? Especially with the prices they demand!
  25. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Not true at all. I've had my share of defective components from other manufacturers. This is not a problem endemic only to Apple; rather, it's just that there's a higher expectation that Apple will have greater quality control. And some (not all, but some) of that, IS Apple's doing.

    That said, if you look at the history of threads, EVERY launch of an iPhone, iPad, or Mac device always generates a "has QC gone down?" thread. But no, QC hasn't gone done... it's just that people expect (rightly so) to have a good product, and when they get one with defects they assume (wrongly so) that EVERYONE ELSE got a defective product, too.

    Defects happen, and even the best QC won't catch them all, especially when demand is high. The only way to make QC perfect is to drastically reduce product availability to allow for outrageously thorough checks, and hugely longer waits and backorders would probably anger people even more.

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