Feasibility of New Solid Aluminum Manufacturing Process?

Businessweek spoke to some experts about the feasibility of the rumors that Apple will be introducing a new manufacturing process and bringing notebook manufacturing in-house.

iSuppli analyst Kevin Keller believes that while short term costs would rise, there could be a savings over time:

"If you're working with one single unit of metal, you're reducing a lot of the materials costs and also a lot of labor time on assembly"

If true, the results could "be unlike anything else on the market in appearance and design" with elimination of screws and seams. Still, it's unclear if Apple could overcome the fact that such a process is quite time-intensive, and scale it enough for laptop production.

As well, the possibility of Apple investing in its own factories to assemble notebooks is seen as a very expensive and risky move and there appears to be no current evidence that Apple has embarked on such a project.

"I'd be shocked if they started doing any of their own assembly," says Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore. "That's the kind of drastic step that would hurt profits. I'm just not sure what the advantages would be."

Meanwhile, CNet's Adam Richardson, an industrial designer, dismisses some of the rumors claiming that Apple has been using both laser and waterjet methods for quite sometime. He reports that the process described by 9to5mac as applied to a notebook-sized device would be much more expensive than traditional manufacturing and feels it's "unlikely that it will literally be a hollowed out block of aluminum".

Top Stories

new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Value of iPad Pro, iPhone 11, and Select Mac Models

Monday April 5, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Apple has adjusted the trade-in values of a number of its products, including the majority of the iPad and Mac lineup, while also making some changes to iPhone. Apple's trade-in program allows customers to trade-in older devices, and receive a certain amount of value for them, to use towards a purchase of a new device. The exact trade-in value a device has is measured by its condition, when ...
samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

Mass Production of A15 Chip for iPhone 13 Set to Begin Ahead of Schedule in Late May

Tuesday April 6, 2021 7:29 am PDT by
Longtime Apple supplier TSMC is set to begin mass shipments of Apple's upcoming A15 chip for the iPhone 13 ahead of schedule at the end of May, according to a snippet of a full report set to be published tomorrow by DigiTimes. The new chip will be based on an enhanced version of the 5nm process, which first debuted in the A14 Bionic with the 2020 iPad Air and iPhone 12 lineup. While the full ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Testing Ability to Transfer Chats Between iOS and Android

Tuesday April 6, 2021 12:37 am PDT by
WhatsApp is testing a new feature that will allow users to transfer their chat history, logs, and transcripts between iOS and Android devices, making it easier for WhatsApp users to switch between the two platforms. The new future, in the early stages of development, was brought to light by WABetaInfo, who often shares unreleased and hidden features behind the chatting service. According to ...