Sources close to Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn say final steps are being taken before ramping up production of the iPhone 6. In this pre-season manufacturing scrimmage of sorts, the production line runs at full tilt in what’s called Product Validating Testing, or PVT. This gives Foxconn and Apple time to make sure what’s coming off the line meets their rigorous standards.
Though running at maximum capacity, only a limited number of iPhone 6 models will actually come to fruition. This gives a sampling of what they can expect, and where to make any production changes necessary — tweaking machine output or altering the hands-on process.
We’ve heard several tales of Apple’s new iPhone having difficulty meeting quality standards. The new metal casing was said to have been met with anodization issues, where the coloration was off. That process also caused some warping of the metal near the points where it meets glass; those are structurally weak points, suggesting the anodization was eating at it.
That anodization process is also done elsewhere, which means those little niggles may have been solved. If Apple and Foxconn really are entering PVT, they’ve likely solved any early supply chain issues they were having. The PVT pre-production run would ensure both timeliness of products coming off the factory floor, and that the “acceptance” threshold for quality was met.
With an alleged September 9 announcement for the iPhone 6, Apple and Foxconn are likely working overtime to ensure a successful run. The iPhone 6 is easily the most anticipated device of 2014, and will likely shatter sales figures of any other device this year. If the early September announcement holds true, expect to be able to snatch one up later that month.