Apple Adds Two Chinese Manufacturers to MacBook Chassis Supply Chain

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Apple has added two China-based manufacturers to its list of MacBook chassis suppliers in an effort to push down prices quoted by Taiwan-based makers, according to a new report today by DigiTimes.

macbook air and 12 inch
China-based Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology and AAC Technologies are said to have obtained Apple certification in 2017, and this year they began small-volume shipments of the metal-alloy chassis for Apple's notebook line-up.

Previous years saw Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, Foxconn Technology and Casetek Holdings dominate the supply of MacBook chassis, and Apple reportedly intends to continue relying on them because of their excellent manufacturing capabilities, but not before it has capitalized on the Chinese makers' lower production costs.

DigiTimes' sources indicate that for Taiwan makers, competition from China rivals will have more impact on their gross margins than on order volumes. To offset the impact, Taiwan companies have increasingly sought orders from Chinese brand vendors of high-end devices like laptops. Responding to the rumored potential of Chinese competition for Apple's business, for example, Catcher said its outlook for 2018 remained unchanged.

Apple is expected to release a new low-cost MacBook Air later this year that will be similar in design to the current MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels around the display. Based on the latest rumor, the new machine will be a straight MacBook Air upgrade aimed at students and schools, with a lower price tag than MacBooks in the MacBook family.

It remains unclear how a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Air fits in with Apple's existing 12-inch Retina MacBook lineup, so the company's plans for its upcoming notebook range could still throw up a surprise or two.

Top Rated Comments

ignatius345 Avatar
32 months ago

To much dependency on China.

To bad Apple can't manufacture these parts in countries that don't hate America.

News flash: Apple is a huge, multi-national corporation out to make money, like every other huge, multi-national corporation. None of them are interested in tribalism either -- they're chasing the best/cheapest labor and manufacturing conditions and the highest-yielding markets. For now, the source of labor is Asia and the markets are largely North America and Europe. Best believe that as circumstances shift, so too will their market priorities. You can keep buying the populist narrative of countries "hating America" but big captial is "to" busy making money to care.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pratikindia Avatar
32 months ago
Too much dependency on Chinese companies will hurt Apple one day.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BMcCoy Avatar
32 months ago
Might be as much about diversification of parts suppliers as it is about driving down manufacturing costs.

Diversifying your suppliers can reduce risk - risk of delay/failure/low yield/economic issues.
It often comes at a cost, mainly duplication of many jobs/processes. But in large volume products, it does introduce competitiveness, of quality and cost.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave245 Avatar
32 months ago
If they are going to push down prices why introduce a new cheaper MacBook Air? but doesn't this lend credit to the idea that Apple could reduce the cost of the 12" MacBook to around $999 and then introduce a $1,200 13" version?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rloechner Avatar
32 months ago
Why can’t we make these machines in America?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anson42 Avatar
32 months ago

To much dependency on China.

To bad Apple can't manufacture these parts in countries that don't hate America.

Hating America is a strong term and wrong. China has a vested interest – an understatement – in the well being of the US economy. There are so many variables in complex international relationships not one of us can profess to understand it nor see the whole picture. Here is one aspect of the US/China relationship that many have probably heard of, but do you know really what it means?

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/080615/china-owns-us-debt-how-much.asp

[Aside: IMO you don't fix anything with a tariff war, but hey, I'm not a politician nor an economist.]
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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