Broken Signal

Lots of mainstream media hand-wringing over reports that Apple has returned a large number (5 million? 800 million? a gazillion?) iPhones to Foxconn for repairs.

Two things are on display here. One, that calling the companies involved for clarification or comment doesn’t appear to be part of the playbook. And two, the mainstream business press doesn’t totally grasp the Apple-Foxconn electronics manufacturing model, especially the part about repairs/returns.



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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow