Oct. 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM ET
Getting your hands on an iPhone 5 can be pretty tough right now. The Apple website offers estimated shipping dates which are a month out and many brick-and-mortar stores are low on stock. But high demand may not be the only cause of this apparent product shortage, one report suggests.
According to the folks at Bloomberg News, "a person familiar with the matter" claims that the "iPhone 5 supply shortfall is being exacerbated by a quality-control crackdown at Foxconn," where Apple many gadgets are manufactured. This quality-control crackdown is supposedly "designed to cut the number of devices shipped with nicks and scratches," according to the report.
Apple senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller has previously commented on the propensity of the iPhone 5 paint job to scratch and chip in an email exchange with a customer. "Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color," he said. "That is normal."
Just like the iPhone 4 reception issues reported in the past, the cosmetic issues spotted since the iPhone 5 launch appear to affect some users more than others. NBC News tech editor Wilson Rothman and I got the iPhone 5 on the same day, but while his was already showing wear after about five days of heavy use (and going in and out of jean pockets), mine didn't begin suffering from time spent in a purse pocket along with other smartphones, loose change and my house keys until after nearly three weeks.
We have reached out to Apple for comment on the reported quality-control crackdown as we wonder how it plays in with Schiller's remarks, which — as previously noted — reminded us of the time when late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told a customer who complained about the iPhone 4 reception issues he experienced when his hand covered the device's antennas that he should "[j]ust avoid holding it that way."
Want more tech news or interesting links? You'll get plenty of both if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.