back to article Yeah, suck it, Foxconn. 'Pegatron' 'nabs' '15%' of 'iPhone 6' 'production'

Whispers among the iChattering classes today claim Taiwanese factory giant Pegatron has received orders from Apple to crank out a share of iPhone 6 handsets. According to a report in Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times, it's rumoured Pegatron will build 15 per cent of all 4.7-inch iPhone 6 devices, which are likely to be …

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed

Apple has become a dirty word now. Fanbois will even celebrate if Dead St. Jobs farts from his grave and treat it as voice from heaven and sell it in their Itunes stores for £.299.

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Re: Indeed

Let me attempt to correct you

For some people who frequent this forum, Apple has become a dirty word.

not everyone on this plant thinks the same way you do. Most people consider Apple to be a decent brand of kit. You most certainly don't have for be a Fanboi to think that.

Just to slag any company off like that gets rather tiring.

As you posted A/C I have to wonder if you are a just a tad embarrassed about the post.

Apple like every large company on this planet has its faults. There are a lot worse companies than the Fruity Co.

Just be thankful that you are not posting this from Russia where it is now illegal to post A/C.

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Re: Indeed

That is the problem that people on the plant don't think...

As a non-fanantic I certainly think it is an excellent brand.

Some of us were Apple fans back in the first Steve Jobs run and are just a bit sore that the promised mirage always appears but is never reached. As for their supposed health BS coming up, I have an excellent solution that is cheaper and involves fruit.

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Re: Indeed

Hey, teacher, leave them trolls alone...

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Re: Indeed

You make a decent point, but most objections to Apple, including mine, stem from the pseudo-religious marketing fervor and sense of superiority that surrounds their products when in fact they are middle of the road in quality at best, but charge premium prices.

Any modern Android phone today has the same level or better build quality than any iPhone. From testing iPhones and iPads myself, I know their Wi-Fi is 35% less efficient (in signal reception and bandwidth throughput) than Android devices in the same environment using the exact same version test app and Wi-Fi connection. Their phone quality is also quite bad with multiple dropped calls. Where, on the same cell tower, the Androids work almost without flaw.

As you say, there are a lot of worse companies out there, but not many. Apple bans devs who dare to publish flaws in their designs and/or errors in their software. They ban apps from their store as soon as they develop their own competing product. Their desire to lock their users into a closed garden is more than obvious. Per your "Russia" comment I lived through communism in the 80's and see many parallels with the draconian Apple system and the Soviet one.

I deal directly with the local iStore as some execs at my company have iDevices (which break twice as often as my Androids). I find their "Geniuses" condescending, technically illiterate if you wander beyond the scope of their training manual, and support policies archaic. If I take a broken device into their shop I want them to fix it, not try to sell me an HD monitor or Apple TV. They seldom do fix it the first time and I end up making two-three trips to fix one issue. In many cases when they fix an issue, they create others and refuse to take responsibility.

I have, over time, convinced roughly half the execs using iDevices to swap over to Android as Apple does not play well with Enterprise level communications, documents, or security. No one has asked to go back to an iDevice after that point. The iPhones are also 40-50% more expensive than Androids and that makes an impression on the accounts staff when I can get two Android phones for the cost of one iPhone.

If you choose to own an Apple device, and are happy with it, then good luck to you. I wish you well and no hard feelings. Yet, some of us prefer choice. I have access to five app stores and if necessary I can go to the dev directly to install software on my phone/tab without rooting it. Android is not perfect, by any means. However, I have full control over my Android devices, I can ensure Enterprise security if one is lost or stolen and I have choice in who I deal with for corporate software.

When Steve Wozniak began criticizing Apple (with even and reasonable observations that were easily corrected), the fanbois turned on him which highlights how much metaphorical kool-aid some people have consumed.

Apple is just another corporation who makes product. The only thing about Apple that leads the pack is their marketing department. P.T. Barnum employed the same type of imaginative people with the same success.

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Re: Indeed

I agree with NoneSuch on this one..

Apple Kit should be top quality if for no other reason the company contols the hardware, OS and the range of software. If you like it and you're spending you're own money good luck to you.

My problem is the brands self important air of superiority with anyone questioning otherwise being branded a heretic. That I think flows directly from Jobs character. It seems to be a pre-requisite that highly succesful founder CEOs aren't likeable people whilst at the Dayjob.

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Re: Indeed

Nobody (Other than Google who has full control over everybody with Play Services) full control over their Android devices other than people without Google Play Services on it. (Or a never ending fight against Google. All the location tracking type stuff in it is mandatory certainly for my Android 4.1 device. Need to mess around with the startup tasks even then Google has backdoors that reenable it periodically).

Even on a Nexus the only way to have a decent experience would be an AOSP rom and the Amazon Appstore and that is it.

Anything using any of my battery should be of value to me. (If it benefits Google also as a side effect so be it. No way I am happy with the way they are going about things).

Google+ is another cancer affecting the whole of Android. (Downgrading to older versions of Gapps gets around it other than potential accidental updates).

At least Apple seems to allow disabling location access to Applications. (Only Apps I want to be able to use my GPS are Navigon / Google Maps. Google won't give me sensible choices for that).

Play Store won't let me search for apps in a way that I want. (i.e that don't use full internet access or don't include IAP's or admob). Dunno if Apple is much better in that sense.

Least goodwill I have at the moment is towards Google (Even search the changes they have made make me have to expend much more effort than I ever used to.)

Then Apple. And Amazon I like the best just because they treat their customers well. (Suspect my battery will be the best it has ever been on my old tablet when I finally switch to AOSP + Amazon).

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Spreading manufacture across providers is a wise decision - it's a high risk having a single manufacturer, particularly if Foxconn were to be hit by urgent priorities for other customers, potential ethical and legal issues over its workforce or anything else that could cause severe disruption at just the wrong moment.

As for the iPhone 6 and it's rumours... I don't especially care for the rumours as it's likely to be a largely incremental update than anything spectacular. This is not an attack on Apple, just an observation as to where the market is.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes and no. It may mean some of the phones aren't built as well as others.

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@AC

Don't know why you've been downvoted, but any discussion of Apple tends to bring out weird responses...

In theory they should all be built as well as each other regardless of manufacturer as they should pass the same tests that Apple will have defined. Multiple, competing manufacturers should also be in competition with each other and therefore quality should improve overall. Or cost, but the same quality. Either way it shouldn't be a bad thing.

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Staging to Scale

Splitting initial production between two companies is fairly common, especially when you're talking millions of QA intensive finished goods. In this case, Pegatron is a more flexible contract manufacturer than Foxconn but Pegatron doesn't have anywhere near the overall manufacturing capacity or internal efficiencies of Foxconn.

It will take Foxconn many months to get completely tooled up and working at full scale. Pegatron can get moving faster but they're going to hit a capacity and cost wall Foxconn crossed years ago. The important part is making sure the product is being produced and is shipping out, which is what Pegatron will be ensuring.

We provide both of those companies with a variety of equipment for use across their operations and bespoke equipment for their clients. Even the thinking processes of the companies are radically different.

Foxconn simply can't think in small numbers. Everything is big and they stretch equipment life cycles to extremes. We've got a machine here right now that should be loaded on the ship in August and will be over there working at full capacity by April of 2015. They want it to last a decade and be flexible enough to support a variety of anticipated, or possible, future form factors. They've got a really, really long view.

Pegatron likes to get to production ASAP and buy increased capacity if it's required. That's fine to a point, but beyond that point costs are simply too great. All in all both companies have done really well in playing to their individual strengths. Clients know exactly who to turn to for a given job and how to integrate them into their product strategies. There are a lot of lessons Western manufacturers could learn and use to expand the industry overall, instead of spending all their time bashing their competitors.

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Devil

Prediction

I'm going to stick my neck right out here and risk making a couple of crazy predictions. Despite Apple bringing on Pegatron to help with production:

i) there will be queues outside Apple Stores worldwide when the new phone becomes available. Some people will queue several days, many will queue for several hours, just to be able to buy from the Apple Store as soon as the phone is available. Meanwhile many others will just turn up at Carphone Warehouse or similar outlets at 9:00, walk straight in, and walk out shortly after with their new phone.

ii) despite massive demand for the new phone being oh-so-predictable (see the launch of previous phones, plus (i) above) Apple will run out of stock within a day or two at most. They will thereby generate acres of free adverts in the form of newspaper stories and hours of free TV adverts in the form of "news" stories about the phone being so popular it has sold out.

OK, I know these predictions are really out there but I just think they might come true.

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Re: Prediction

Intentionally limiting product availability at launch, for any company isn't nearly the devious plot lots of people think it is.

Those first batches that sell so quickly are typically the pilot run. No matter how much you spend or how great the people who designed the equipment and process are. there are going to be about 17.3 million unanticipated problems crop up as you start to scale toward full capacity production.

Those problems must be addressed as part of the pilot run or you'll never hit scale and your production costs skyrocket. Those fixes can take anywhere from a few hours to fix, or a few months if it's a big problem. That means the production line is stopped while the fixes are being implemented.

After the fixes are in place you go back to working towards scale. But you've still got those units from the pilot and that's what ships first (it's usually the production equipment that's messed up, not pilot units). Following those pilots closely will be units from normalized production line.

You can think of it like sci-fi spacecraft. The Gen1 ship launched 10 years ago and has completed 90% of its voyage but the Gen2 spacecraft launched just two years ago and will reach the destination before the Gen1 ship.

Units from the pilot run are the Gen1 craft and production at scale is the Gen2 craft.

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