Ahead of the iPhone 6’s launch, Adam Satariano of BloombergBusinessweek has shared some information on Apple’s early field failure analysis (EFFA) program, developed to solve prospective iPhone problems swiftly and successfully. The EFFA Program, which is run by Apple’s AppleCare team, has actually been in place since the late 1990s.

As described by Satariano, shortly after any iPhone release, the EFFA program sees couriers shuttling faulty devices gotten from go back to a testing space in Cupertino, where they’re inspected by iPhone engineers in an effort to repair troubles in a timely manner. As quickly as a fix is in location, it’s deployed throughout the business’s global supply chain.
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‘They take them apart to detect what’s taking place best then and there,’ says Mark Wilhelm, who assisted lead Apple’s returns program. […]

Often, they jury-rig a hardware fix, then collaborate a solution throughout Apple’s international supply chain. In some cases the issues can’t be solved quickly– remember Apple Maps leading individuals astray. ‘Every day they don’t acknowledge an issue, they’re potentially producing more bad products,’ states Michael Fawkes, the previous head of supply chain for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

With the EFFA program, engineers in Cupertino learn of a possible problem as soon as a return is made in a retailer, and the identification numbers of each device enable the business to track defective gadgets down to ‘individual employees on an assembly line.’

An example of EFFA in action can be found in 2007, with the release of the original iPhone. A number of gadgets returned with a faulty touchscreen triggered by an earpiece flaw that let in a user’s sweat. Apple engineers repaired the trouble with a new layer, which rolled out to production line quickly after and avoided a more extensive problem.

According to previous staff members, EFFA testing is most essential during the weeks after a gadget first launches, however the group stays active for numerous months, and releases a weekly report highlighting typical issues reported by customers. Apple’s EFFA group will certainly be called to action in just a couple of short weeks, as Apple is expected to present the iPhone 6 at a media occasion on September 9, with a launch coming shortly after.

For extra information on EFFA, make certain to look into Satarino’s full piece over at BloombergBusinessweek.

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