Foxconn battles to meet huge demand for Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handset shipments have been hit with delays in the manufacturing process that will likely mean prospective customers having to wait a few weeks longer for the new devices.

Related: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 5C specs: Smartphone specs compared

Foxconn has had to bring in more workers to its largest plant in Zhengzhou, China to help cope with the demand for the new smartphones, people close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter.

Over 200,000 people work at the site that is solely dedicated to assembling the new iPhones as well as some of the key components that make them up including metal casings.

The larger iPhone 6 Plus is proving a tricky proposition for the manufacturing company and a quick peek onto the UK online store shows that every version has a wait time of three to four weeks for delivery. Much of this is down to the larger screen that is harder to make and has a far higher rejection rate at the quality control stage.

“For iPhone 6 Plus, we are still ramping up the production line. Another reason for the limited supply is the shortage of 5.5-inch displays,” said the same person.

This is further compounded by an output rate of just 50 to 60 per cent for the 5.5in display that results in almost half of all the substandard output being scrapped. In comparison the 4.7in display reportedly has a much higher output rate of 85 per cent.

Production is made more difficult due to the in-cell technology involved that allows screens to be thinner and lighter by putting touch sensors into the liquid crystal display thus removing the need for a separate touch-screen layer.

Related: Have your say: Is the iPhone 6 hot or a flop?

Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets go on sale around the world tomorrow and UK customers can visit an Apple Retail Store from 08:00 BST to try and snap one up or pre-order one online and wait for a few weeks.Porthole Ad