All the Apple Problems In 2018 Show Major Hardware Quality Drop

COO2CTO

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Aug 1, 2017
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"The price of excellence is very high".

There are no shortcuts and "thermal cooling" causing a finished product to bend says a few things:
1. Product development and enough sample range to cover likely events for testing takes time and money. If your priorities shortcut these quality processes, you will see it in the finished products. It can't be hid.

2. There is a faulty decision making process somewhere in the Apple/Foxconn ethos. It isn't working. Reputation is everything and is being sold short while marketing is using algorithms to hike prices. This is a "right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing" and invalidates whatever marketing thinks the Apple reputation can carry to justify those price hikes.

It isn't justified with this well-researched list of what is known publicly.

3. I have noticed a trend coming from Silicon Valley and associated areas:
- They are sloppy.
Their own technologies have been beyond the development teams' ability of control, systems understanding and pro-activity with the quirks associated with these advanced technologies for at least several years now. We keep buying or subscribing to the products while they keep selling their own fans short in terms of faulty hardware and very faulty software. We buy "thermal cooling" bent screen frames and they say, "It's ok".

It isn't.

It IS showing a lack of care and lack of understanding of what it is they build and the associated thorough product development required to find these process weaknesses. IF they were employing solid thermal dynamics and associated materials science engineering to their designs and follow-throughs for technical trouble-shooting, consumers would not be seeing what we are seeing now anywhere near as frequently as we are.

Which is it, Apple? Faulty engineering , faulty engineering management or faulty accounting/cost control philosophy?

4. I am embarrassed for the conspicuous lack of concern for our private data as demonstrated by these breaches, deliberate development cycle data sharing and defensive verbage coming from silicon valley. I don't care what their policy is or what they deny. That does not, in any way, erase the facts of the events happening anyway. This is not adult communication, it is grade-school.

5. I'm not looking the other way at what Facebook's or Twitter's problems are. Rather, I am warning my employees to take care of their data and any data that they input to these systems. If the systems' owners cannot control their own technologies, then my employees are smart enough to know what to do. I do not tolerate co-dependence to sloppy considerations of any data handling, let alone private data handing.

In summary, Silicon Valley is in over their heads. Their own technologies are beyond their understanding, especially while considering the complexities of integrated systems these systems create and are a part of. The facts of events proves the endemic sloppiness "group think" usually falls into. Defensive explanations and those that say that obvious defects are "OK" reflect the same short-cut thinking which is, apparently, part of the ethos of product development and the unaddressed gaps in the relationships with marketing.
 

Korey_4

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I have an XR, my wife has an XS Max, and neither of us have antennae issues of any kind. My phone gets the same range/coverage as hers does. I actually have better reception than I did with the original Pixel (surprising to me given the "iPhones don't have the same quality of reception" all over the internet—though I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung has the best in the game).
 

ebinrock

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Feb 9, 2015
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This is why Apple needs to let their iOS and Mac operating systems be installed on any hardware, not just their own. That way, if one particular manufacturer was constantly screwing up their quality control, you could always choose another to replace it with, provided they all met a particular universal standard (e.g., the ATX standard for desktop PC's, and variants thereof like Mini ATX, etc.). Personally, I'd like to see smartphones and tablets fully customizable and build-able from the ground up as well, using a similar universal standard (maybe with their own variants for different sizes, etc.).

Finally, companies need to stop being so darned CHEAP to squeeze every last bit of profit out of buyers, and electronics manufacturing needs to come back to Japan and away from China, who's well-reputed for shoddy quality control. At least from what I've known from products in the 80's, and the one week I spent in Japan at an electronics factory in the late 90's, they've always been truly committed to quality control, through a meticulous and methodical mindset, a rarity these days.
 

COO2CTO

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This is a good recommendation for some of the product issues discussed here. However, it does not eliminate the overarching philosophical drivers: I call it sloppiness - akin to what you are saying in your 2nd section. The Japanese are excellent systems integrators. They have gone way beyond where they started - copying parts is far simpler than making the parts operate with other parts into a reliable system. This is a cultural statement - they pay attention to details and what makes things work reliably. It isn't stated very much in the Apple system approaches, but what are they using at Foxconn? What is Apple pushing?

Six Sigma/Lean etc. take a certain discipline that manufacturing on the cheap will not afford. It takes time and dedication - would we be seeing this much product defect on the consumer side if they were using it? Engineering has been reluctant to accept Six Sigma as part of their design processes since it is a creative effort, as is commonly used to push back against being measured. Manufacturing and production are not seen as being "creative", yet there is plenty of it to make the system produce reliably. You can have poorly designed products produced well.

I can see the problems with Apple's deployments - Jesus Diaz did a great job pulling that story together with these historical events. But, what are we really seeing the symptoms of?



 
Dec 21, 2018
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Another example of Chinese manufacturing prowess and quality control. Maybe customers can send them back for a new iWhistle or whatever is the next piece of Apple junk?

-Helmut
 
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