updated 09:57 am EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
Could cost manufacturer up to $1.6 billion
Apple has returned a batch of millions of botched iPhones to its main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, a source at the latter company tells China Business. It's believed that anywhere between 5 and 8 million units were returned for various unspecified defects. As the cost to manufacture is estimated to be $200 per phone, Foxconn could be taking a loss of as much as $1.6 billion.
It's unmentioned however which iPhone model or models have been affected. The most likely candidate is the iPhone 5, which is Apple's flagship device and has had well-publicized problems with manufacturing in the past. Alternately though a mix of iPhones may have caused problems, or even an unreleased model, although reports have only hinted that a new iPhone might be in mass production.
Manufacturing difficulties could explain widespread analyst expectations that iPhone shipments will fall below forecasts for the March quarter. In at least some cases, though, analysts have suggested that demand for the iPhone 5 has been lower than anticipated. Apple is due to announce its Q2 results tomorrow.