updated 10:35 am EDT, Mon June 18, 2012
More control, more inspections
Tim Cook is exerting more control over the Apple supply chain since he took over as CEO last year, according to DigiTimes sources within the supply companies. Inspections are said to not only be more frequent but longer, and for the past half year the company has allegedly been putting in more effort to control costs and product quality, also "heavily" evaluating suppliers.
In one incident involving the new MacBooks, a fingerprint is said to have been accidentally printed on an internal component. In response Apple demanded a check of the entire production line, slowing down production.
Some of the changes can probably be attributed to media controversy over sweatshop-like working conditions at some suppliers, and more recently a Fair Labor Association report in which Apple and its main supplier, Foxconn, agreed to make substantial changes to labor standards. At least one activist group, however, has complained that the situation at Foxconn has "barely improved."