Originally Posted by mikedt
TBH Sony is not the manufacturer of really great electronics products that they once were. Years ago if you wanted the best TV, you bought a Sony Trinitron. Not cheap and extremely heavy, but they certainly gave a fantastic picture IMO. You wanted the best personal cassette player, you bought a Walkman.
My theory--based upon my time in the technology trenches--is once something becomes wildly popular; cellphones and tablets would likely qualify as wildly popular products--manufacturers become sloppy. They become fixated on profits and units out the door.
To fill the need for cool products and to try to beat the competition, they release product after product after product. The speed in which some products come to market is amazing. There is a need to make vast numbers before something else catches the public's fancy.
In the old days, I could have told you why you should avoid the latest products we made. We had to feed the public new products and they were not built with the same care and attention to detail as the stuff we made when the demand was not as high.
When you go from producing 300 units per day to producing 1500 - 2000 per day, you must sacrifice something along the way. Especially when corporate wants big numbers and you do not add more people to the line.
The first Palm V devices were demonstrably better than the last models we made.
When we started making the Rio MP3 Players, we eventually eliminated some inspections because they took too much time. Rio wanted numbers and our methods would product great products, but smaller numbers. So we eliminated a final sound check test.
The problem was, some workers did not like the music that was written into the device memory, so someone deleted the approved music and added their favorites. So tens of thousands of players were shipped with illegal music. Things happen when it becomes a numbers game.
I am betting that new cell phone you want was built with the bottom line cost in mind rather than the quality of the product. If it passes functional test, it is out the door. I can reject almost all new products on the market for simple things like cosmetic defects if I apply the first inspection criteria once I followed.
Believe it or not, when you purchased a new modem from us, it was packaged a certain way. If inspectors discovered that the installation disk, warranty card and literature packet was upside down in the box, they pulled countless units and re wrapped them with the documentation properly inserted.
As we grew, we stopped caring as much because it is costly to pull thousands of products, open the boxes and re-wrap them. And considering that the customer does not know their info packet should not be upside down, where is the damage and what is the problem. Well, we had a certain spec and it had to be followed.
Like the Hotel Utah here in SLC. At one time, they washed the coins in detergent and all currency they took in was placed into boxes and exchanged at the bank for crisp bills. Customers were given sparkling clean silver and bank fresh currency. All I want is the correct change, wrinkled or not.
We had procedures in place for cosmetic inspection. There was a time when scratches were NEVER tolerated. As demand grew, we did not add more inspectors, we changed the inspection criteria so a certain number of "defects" were allowed.
Just a guess, but there is no reason to doubt that these days, per-unit cost might be what is important and cheaper materials rule. This is why many new products do not always live up to the older products in terms of overall quality.
It is a pure game of numbers and to make a profit these days, something as to go.