Reliability if 70% of Apple Watches are bad?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Piggie, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Apple Watch: Only 30 percent of units reportedly are free of defects

    it looks like one of Apple’s main Watch manufacturers – Quanta – doesn’t seem to have a good handle on the Watch’s production, as it now stands at a rumored 30% defect-free rate and is reportedly struggling with low yield issues.

    I wonder how true this story is.
    And if it bodes well for long term reliability if only 30% are ok in the 1st place?

    As was suggested. Perhaps this is why there has been such a long long wait for them to get into the stores to buy, as they are struggling to make them right?

    Interesting to learn what the problems are.
  2. largefarrva macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2012
    If true, I highly doubt Apple will allow the 70% that are bad to hit the shelves for us to buy. Aint happening, so it won't be an issue for us.
  3. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Very interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing. 30% is an extremely low rate. Unbelievable.
  4. Esoom macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2010
    "Defects" cover a lot of issues, I'll bet many of them, if true, are cosmetic related, good for us, since I want a perfect watch :)
  5. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Right, because apple never sold iphone 5 dinged right out of the box. Depending on how severe the defects are, they properly will chance that most users don't return it for an very small metal imperfection in the case.
  6. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    People (many people) inspect, and expect a cosmetically fault free item from any Apple product, and what has caused many issues, esp with older iPhone models, so many of which were damaged, if you looked carefully enough, when you unpacked them.

    Given this new product, I would expect people to have even higher expectations, and ANY scratch or mark anywhere should be thrown back at them.

    Personally, electronics wise I'd not myself suspect there was circuitry problems. My guess would be cosmetic and build quality faults.
    But I may be wrong.
  7. largefarrva macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2012
    We're talking about a theoretical 70% of watches that are messed up in some way or another (assuming the report is actually true to begin with). Do you REALLY think Apple is going to let us get our hands on that 70%? Yes, a few here and there will slip through but I can guarantee you that they won't let something like this happen. Not on a brand new product line like this. I'm more concerned about buggy software than anything, but that is easily fixed via updates.
  8. smr macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Shropshire, UK
    Good find Piggie - I expect this will soon make the front page of MacRumors...

    I think it is good news as QC in my recent Apple products has been patchy e.g. what looked like a beard shaving between the LCD and front glass on my first iPad, light-bleeding on various products etc. As Apple are pitching the :apple:WATCH as a high-end fashion accessory then the build quality needs to match the price charged. Perhaps they are setting more exacting standards on the :apple:WATCH production lines?
  9. camtechman56 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2015
    Warren, pa.
    My bet; is if it is true is the electronics, this is a new product and a smaller one than Apple has ever done, and a more complicated product. in any case, Apple can't let many of these get out to the public because this is Tim Cook's baby. There for if they get out Cook is Cooked ( pun intended )

    Please excuse grammar, I work 12hr nights.
  10. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    No manufacturer pumps out millions of units before they have perfected the process. It is probably 70% of a few dozen samples, and is probably just one new component that they are working to perfect. Every product has issues as they start production. You should read the blogs of the kickstarter projects. All will be well on April 24.
  11. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    That would not generally mean pulling in 3000 workers from elsewhere to help you solve it, would it?
  12. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    A report on a random website sourced from another website that doesn't give any sources for its information. Totally reliable, I'm sure. Yeah.
  13. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Cosmetic defects are a good bet.

    Remember back when Foxconn quality control workers rebelled over the standards they were supposed to meet with the iPhone 5, without training and without equipment to prevent damage to the finish.

    Millions of them with defects were sent out anyway, and reportedly were later returned to Foxconn to be fixed.

    It just takes a while to get a production line running smoothly. The trouble with Apple is that they seem to wait until the last minute to finalize plans and begin production. A bad habit they inherited from Jobs' manic leadership, with his penchant for demanding last second changes from Foxconn.

    No matter what it is, it'll get worked out.
  14. JuanMenor macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2015
    Anybody knows about Apple watch to be used while swimming?
  15. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    It's called "clickbait". :) The more obscure the website, the more outrageous the rumor, typically.

    So how true the "story" is? Not particularly, very likely, especially seeing as there doesn't seem to be any sources cited.

    One could believe an initial 70% defect rate on the cases, before the manufacturing process is properly run-in, as Apple seems to obsess endlessly over the precision and finish of the casing itself.

    It's hard to mass-produce flawless items, but not that hard in the long run. Once they get up to speed, defect rate should be mostly within industry norms, whatever the hell that is. Probably a bit higher, due to the exacting demands of finish and workmanship, but still not very high due to the cracking whips of the Apple beancounters and Quanta/Foxconn slavedrivers... :eek:

    OLED displays aren't as esotheric today as they used to be, so I wouldn't expect 70% defect rate there. A couple years ago though, sure, why not. :) Everything else in the Watch is pretty standard stuff by today's standards. The "S1" chip is just a regular SoC like billions of others found in phones and gaming consoles and cars and TVs and countless other devices, and the electronics module itself a circuit board little different from the circuit board in any other smartwatch, or heck, even a Raspberry Pi for example, except more compact than the Pi obviously.

    So...much ado about nothing, pretty much.
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    It's a radically new product requiring radically new manufacturing processes.

    It takes a while to work out the kinks. If it were easy, everyone would be making these.

    Don't fret. They'll figure it out. Meanwhile, expect further breathless reporting of fluff and nonsense from the peanut gallery.

    And, certainly, inspect what you buy and call flaws to the retailer's attention. That goes for any purchase.
  17. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Oh please. Don't fall for the apple hype... :p There's nothing radical about how the apple watch is made, if it was, it couldn't be mass-produced.

    You could make a case that rocket engines require radical manufacturing techniques, but this thing surely does not.

    It does seem to have higher standards of finish, work and materials than most consumer goods (as well as higher amounts of high-end manufacturing tech such as CNC machining, laser cutting/engraving and so on), but that's about it.
  18. Cashmonee macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2006
    This isn't really that unusual, especially for a new Apple product. They push the edge, and this is part of doing business for them. The glass trackpads had pretty horrible yield rates initially as well. Perhaps that is part of the reason for the cost.
  19. sjinsjca, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015

    sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    If you knew anything about manufacturing, you'd recognize that your last sentence entirely contradicts your first. Just for starters, to my knowledge the laser deburring has not been performed in a wearable item minted in the millions before. That truly is a rocket-engine manufacturing process... or at least a jet-engine one. The force sensitive screen is another seemingly minor item requiring significant innovation in manufacturing and testing. Now, I'd agree that much of the Watch's innovation is recombinant in nature... the potted electronic module is familiar from automotive and other applications, for example, and the laser deburring I mentioned has been used before in other fields. But, as with the iPhone, the audacious combination and scale are eye-popping to those with familiarity with manufacturing.

    In any case, unlike some folks in this thread, I have no trouble believing the 70% reject rate reported in the source article. In fact, I'd expect it, at first.
  20. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I would suggest it's not quite that simple.

    They wish to produce new things but for a low price and to get them made very fast.
    Something has to give, and that generally is quality.

    I'm sure all these things are perfect when made slowly and carefully as samples.
    When you then want the person on the production line to do the same process say 300 times a hour, with no time to take much care or do it again if they are unhappy.
    bang, bang bang, keep up the production, we need 300 a hour from you.

    That's when quality slips.

    I could for example take most of a day assembling a PC, taking great care, routing the cables, being very careful.
    In a factory I'd probably be expected to do it all in 15 mins.

    And by the way, we've been doing multi axis CNC machining for YEARS.
    Some of the work we do every day, makes the Apple watch look like something from the stone age engineering wise.
  21. Esexx macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2015
    Normally I am not too picky. I wouldn't return something like my iPad or MBAir because of a minor inperfection because most likely I will probably scratch it withing the first few weeks of ownership.

    However, a brand new watch in another store for me. I am a WIS, and expect to have a defect free watch out of the box. Even though this is not a "high end" watch, I would still expect the same defect free watch.

    I don't think Apple would let imperfect watches though to the public. Especially a brand new product that the whole world will be watching.
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's new for Foxconn and Quanta.
  23. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    If you work in manufacturing, you would understand there is no such thing as "Perfect"
    You have a "Tolerance", this may be a dimensional tolerance, a surface finish, an amount of play/slack in something.

    There is no such thing as perfect. It is always simply good enough to pass thru the inspection.

    Your company, if it's your product, has to decide how bad something can be, and still pass inspection.

    One further problem is, you rarely with mass production do 100% checks.
    You sample check.

    If you check the 1st one, then the 20th one, and they are both within tolerances of all aspects, then chances are, number 2 to 19 are good also, and they don't get checked.

    When it comes to doing work by hand, which is never a great thing often, like brushing the Apple watch strap.
    We do that kind of work all day long, and it's 100% down to the individual.

    Like at our company, we have people who take more care than others.
    Does not matter how much training you give. Humans are not machines, and some people simply have higher personal standards than others.

    Myself I am, and have been placed into areas, where the company knows they must have the very best quality.
    I make things, and they get sent out to customers without anyone else even looking as they trust me, and know if I think it's good it's good.

    Others we have, I've never trust them, as they don't have personal pride. Work is a job to them, go to work, get something done, get paid, come home.

    I'm sure we all can relate to what I'm saying in some ways in each of ours jobs we do.

    You can't spend 1 hour assembling each watch with loving care if they want you to put together 20 a hour. 3 mins each.
    The 3 mins each is the most important thing, and you have to do all you can to meet their target, as long as your work just about manages to scrape thru inspection then they are happy.
  24. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I would care less about the craftsmanship of my $79 sodastream (I would still want it defect free) than a watch I might be spending $350 - $10K on.

    Wanting something to be 100% defect free isn't unreasonable. But at times on this forum, I feel that some have gone overboard.
  25. docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    What's the difference? Apple is notoriously excellent at exchanging defective products on the spot. Heck they've been known to exchange products out of warranty.

    If true, to the buyer this means nothing.

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