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Foxconn boss confirms iPhone 5 production delays

Hon Hai Precision Industry and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou on Wednesday confirmed reports that production of Apple's new iPhone 5 is hitting snags and that the Taiwanese contract manufacturer is unable to supply Apple with as many units as the iPhone maker is requesting.

Gou didn't specify what was causing the production issues in a talk with reporters at a Taipei conference, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Market demand is very strong, but we just can't really fulfil Apple's requests," Gou was quoted as saying.

It was first reported last month that certain difficult-to-produce components of the new iPhone, such as an anodised aluminium back-casing that's prone to scratching, were making it difficult for Apple suppliers like Foxconn to produce the smartphones fast enough to meet demand.

Overtaxed quality control inspectors at Foxconn's mainland China facilities where iPhone 5s are assembled reportedly launched a strike in October to protest against the new tough-to-meet production standards, though Foxconn at the time denied that there had been a strike or any sort of disruption to iPhone production.

Apple, meanwhile, has taken a typical stance on scratching issues with the iPhone 5, arguing that the scratches were normal.

Despite Apple's public dismissal of the scratching problem, the iPhone maker reportedly ordered suppliers like Foxconn to crack down on production line blunders that led to the shipment of iPhones with scratches. But this extra-cautious approach reportedly slowed down production and led to disputes with workers over the stricter QC regime.

Apple has not yet commented on Gou's remarks.