Chinese Factory Shutdown May Affect Apple Notebook Supplies

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Computerworld reports that the shutdown of a Chinese manufacturer may affect inventories of Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks.

Taiwanese company Catcher Technology has had to temporarily close down a factory in eastern China due to complaints of a "strange odor" coming from the building. Catcher is said to be responsible for 60% of Apple's uni-body aluminum casings for Apple's notebook line. In a statement, Catcher admitted that customer supplies would be affected.

"Shipments to our customers will inevitably be affected. We already asked them to make adjustments to their (casings) procurement," Catcher President Allen Horng told a news conference.

It's not clear when the plant will resume full operations. Apple obtains the other 40% of its case supply from Foxconn.

The timing is unfortunate as we've been hearing rumors that Apple was planning on a small MacBook Pro refresh as early as this week. Rumors had suggested a processor bump was due late this year, and new part numbers have suggested an imminent launch.

Top Rated Comments

swingerofbirch Avatar
143 months ago
Unfortunate timing?

These are the factories we've read about where workers are constantly inhaling aluminum dust, getting sick, and even dying. The fact that authorities in China have shut it down tells you it's a pretty bad situation. What's unfortunate is that people are sick from factory work.

When the Foxconn factory exploded, there were reports that workers there too were inhaling aluminum dust and they found a lot of huge safety violations.

This factory is only finally getting attention because the smell was so bad it was bothering neighbors near the factory--imagine what it's like inside.

There is a precedent for this situation: late 19th century/early 20th century United States. It was a moral tragedy. And it was for the sake of greed. And saying the timing is unfortunate now because you are worried an unannounced, very slightly speed bumped MBP will be delayed is also greedy.

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"The timing is unfortunate as we've been hearing rumors that Apple was planning on a small MacBook Pro refresh as early as this week."

I don't remember any reporting on these rumors either. Isn't this MacRumors?

One thing is for sure. I don't want AAPL to tank because of this. I think that most investors were hoping for a homerun earnings report on Tuesday... and a small bump in the stock price. Now... who knows?

I'm guessing this is sarcasm.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abyssgh0st Avatar
143 months ago
Why is this the first I'm hearing of a macbook pro refresh?

Guessed you missed this. (https://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/13/apple-may-processor-bump-macbook-pros-in-2011/)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gemütlichkeit Avatar
143 months ago
I hope someday they can bring production to the states.

Made and Designed in California
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smulji Avatar
143 months ago
I hope someday they can bring production to the states.

Made and Designed in California

As long as people everywhere demand quality products at cheaper & cheaper prices it'll never happen.

Unless Americans want to get paid peanuts so that the cost of the products don't dramatically rise forget about it.

Greed, in terms of the profits demanded by corporations & shareholders, & the desire for cheap products demanded by consumers is the enemy of morality in business.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SandynJosh Avatar
143 months ago

This factory is only finally getting attention because the smell was so bad it was bothering neighbors near the factory--imagine what it's like inside.

It was fine inside. Passed all the air-quality tests. It stunk outside because they were doing a real good job of exhausting whatever it is. Typical Chinese corruption...move the problem around instead of fixing it. In the USA we rely on Congress to do that for us.

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I hope someday they can bring production to the states.

Made and Designed in California

Well, they could move it to Canada. I understand there's a good-sized phone/tablet factory there that's not doing much these days. ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
organerito Avatar
143 months ago
I hope someday they can bring production to the states.

Made and Designed in California

The only problem would be that as they are going to pay the minimum salary, nobody would like to work there. So, they'll hire illegal Mexicans. Then, Americans are going to complain that Mexicans steal their jobs.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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