Apple subcontractor denies using fake parts in iPhone

Apple this week was once again in the news for all the wrong reasons. It started when Commercial Times, a Chinese news website, published a report claiming that Wistron (which supplies parts for the iPhone) was caught red-handed using ‘unauthorized components’ during the manufacture of the iPhone 8 Plus in that country.

The report went on to say that Apple subsequently instructed Wistron to stop production when it found out about this issue. Assembly was reportedly suspended for a two-week period.

According to DigiTimes, Wistron has since published what it described as a ‘partial denial.’

On March 15, in a filing lodged with the Taiwan Stock Exchange Wistron insisted that it would not comment on issues related to individual clients and that reports of a two-week suspension were false. The statement said there was no “two-week production suspension as reported and operations remain completely normal.”

With issues like this one of course often has to read between the lines. What is interesting is that the statement as it was reported in the media does not explicitly deny that Wistron was caught out using fake components. It also does not rule out the possibility that production might have been suspended for less than two weeks.

The core of the problem reportedly revolved around Wistron using waterproof components that were not certified by Apple. This could refer to gaskets that are used to keep out dust and water.

Wistron has reportedly punished a number of middle and top executives, to show Apple that it considered the matter in a very serious light.

It has to be mentioned at this stage that in China, Wistron is not a major Apple supplier since Foxconn is picking up the biggest part of iPhone orders. In India, however, the company is a very important iPhone assembler.

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