Apple may have rejected as many as eight million Foxconn-produced iPhones over quality concerns, China Business has reported, citing an unnamed Foxconn employee.
Details of the incident are sketchy, but the report suggests that somewhere between five and eight million iPhone units were returned because of the “appearance of substandard or dysfunctional problems.”
The model wasn’t specified, but whether the report refers to the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S, both of which are currently on sale, Apple could end up facing several weeks of setbacks to its supply chain. If the handsets in question are units of the forthcoming next-gen model, the company could be forced to delay its next smartphone.
China Business estimates that, given each iPhone unit’s $200 (£130) manufacturing price, Foxconn could be swallowing a $1.6 billion (£1 billion) cost to reproduce the handsets to higher standards. However, that figure depends on the phones’ components not being reusable, which is an unlikely proposition.
In more Foxconn news, the company recently hired an additional 10,000 employees to meet “seasonal demands” expected to be related to the next-generation iPhone.