Apple reportedly squeezing supplier to stop building MacBook Air clones from Asus

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014


Apple has reportedly asked Pegatron, one of its overseas device assemblers, to "choose sides" and stop producing the MacBook Air-like Zenbook from Asus, or else lose Apple's business.



Apple's apparent aggressive strategy with Pegatron was detailed on Monday by China Times ( Google Translate). It was said that Apple executives are upset because of the "high similarity" between the MacBook Air and the Zenbook from Asus.



It is expected that Pegatron will comply with Apple's demands, and Asus will move production of its thin-and-light Zenbook laptop to Compal or Wistron. That would allow Pegatron to continue production of Apple's hot selling MacBook Air.



The Asus Zenbook is one of a line of computers based on the "Ultrabook" specification spearheaded by chipmaker Intel. After the first Ultrabooks hit the market last year and saw soft sales, manufacturers began slashing prices to undercut Apple's MacBook Air.



Intel's Ultrabook class aims to bring "tablet-like features" to thin-and-light notebooks, but manufacturers have struggled to keep prices down. One report last year said that Apple's control of its overseas supply chain, particularly with respect to metal chassis, was a roadblock for PC makers.











Apple is so bullish on the success of its MacBook Air lineup that the company is expected to bring features from its ultraportable laptop to the high-end MacBook Pro lineup this year. AppleInsider detailed last week how a radical redesign of the MacBook Pro will make the company's 15- and 17-inch professional laptops look more like the MacBook Air.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,402member
    I believe in law at first suit.



    But that's me.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,035member
    Oooohh..... this could serious attract antitrust scrutiny -- if true.
  • myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Sorry my friend tallest skill, apple are great these days at being bullies, no so great when it comes to actually making an os that is not a dog or has a few useful productivity features instead of being a buggy bric a brac with ios.



    how about we finally get resolution independence at some point? Panther, tiger, leopard, snow leopard, slow leopard...oops vista...oopss again lion...so where is it?
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,402member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Sorry my friend tallest skill, apple are great these days at being bullies, no so great when it comes to actually making an os that is not a dog or has a few useful productivity features instead of being a buggy bric a brac with ios.



    how about we finally get resolution independence at some point? Panther, tiger, leopard, snow leopard, slow leopard...oops vista...oopss again lion...so where is it?



    And what does that have to do with the article?



    The Zenbook looks identical to the MacBook Pro. That's lawsuit-worthy if Apple has the appropriate patents on the Air design.



    Apple can't constrain production of other companies. That's also probably lawsuit worthy if it's done in an illegal manner.
  • adybadyb Posts: 157member
    'Reportedly' - I'd be more interested if we were told who the China Times source is.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple has reportedly asked Pegatron, one of its overseas device assemblers, to "choose sides" and stop producing the MacBook Air-like Zenbook from Asus, or else lose Apple's business.




    Pegatron can cut back on their costs, such as labor costs, if they no longer get profit from Asus. My guess is that only a slight lowering of wages for the remaining employees would do it.
  • quickquick Posts: 227member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    ... how about we finally get resolution independence at some point? Panther, tiger, leopard, snow leopard, slow leopard...oops vista...oopss again lion...so where is it?



    As long as we have pixel-based screens, resolution independent GUIs make no sense.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I really don't understand why Apple is so offended by these copycats. People who buy them were not ever going to be Apple customers anyway. The cloners can't compete on price, quality, service, warranty, ecosystem, software, operating system reliability, resale value or ease of use.



    Let the morons have their knock offs. There will always be knock offs. If they start putting Apple logos on them, that is when you take action.
  • xavier83xavier83 Posts: 63member
    Apple in mobster voice, " Pegatron get ova here..what are you doing".. Pegatron, " boss I'm just trying to make some extra money".. Apple, " You either choose me or them or I'm going to kill your whole entire buisness.. you hear me! "..
  • aizmovaizmov Posts: 987member
    More importantly when are we gonna see the new MacBook Pros. My MacBook Pro is only 2 years old so I won't be upgrading for another 2 years but I'm really interested in seeing how the MacBook Air's design translate into the 15" and 17" MacBook Pro. If Apple can get the next MacBook Pro 17" under 6 pounds I'll be getting one, else another 15".
  • thataveragejoethataveragejoe Posts: 830member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    And what does that have to do with the article?



    The Zenbook looks identical to the MacBook Pro. That's lawsuit-worthy if Apple has the appropriate patents on the Air design.



    I doubt they do, or they would have gone that route rather than pressuring suppliers.



    Quote:

    Apple can't constrain production of other companies. That's also probably lawsuit worthy if it's done in an illegal manner.



    Spot on. If this story is true, anantksundaram could be right.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    And what does that have to do with the article?



    The Zenbook looks identical to the MacBook Pro. That's lawsuit-worthy if Apple has the appropriate patents on the Air design.



    Apple can't constrain production of other companies. That's also probably lawsuit worthy if it's done in an illegal manner.



    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is about to file a law suit against Asus over this copying because they do in fact have patents on the design. which is far more than 'a rectangle with a glass touch screen'. And perhaps the message they sent to Pegatron was that by building these units they were making themselves partners in the 'crime' and would be treated as such. So they needed to make a choice before they were sued over this situation.
  • sricesrice Posts: 92member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I really don't understand why Apple is so offended by these copycats.



    In this case it may be less about copycats and more about Asus gaining from the manufacturers lessons learned and equipment purchased to build the MBA.



    "Asus if you want to copy, we can't stop you, but you won't get benefits from us" is probably what Apple is thinking.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,156member
    Smart move by Apple!



    You can't be making Macbook Airs for Apple while you're also making Macbook Air clones for Asus. Pegatron would be mistaken if they believe that they can have their cake and eat it too.



    The choice is easy, do you want to continue to have Apple's business or do you wish to continue and have the clone makers business?



    You can't be accepting Apple's money with your left hand, while your right hand is giving Apple the finger. I'm certain that even Chinese people and commies surely understand that simple concept.



    Apple should hire some Mafia looking people with New York accents to be permanently based in China and to represent Apple and their business interests in that country. And these wiseguys would ensure that none of the Chinese suppliers get any funny ideas. They would keep them in line and remind them from time to time what happens if they try and screw around with Apple.
  • sricesrice Posts: 92member
    Yep, and I'm a manu bidding on Apple work, I'm going to think twice before I start producing products for an Apple copyist -- because Apple has a long memory.



    Slow'em down..
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Srice View Post


    In this case it may be less about copycats and more about Asus gaining from the manufacturers lessons learned and equipment purchased to build the MBA.



    "Asus if you want to copy, we can't stop you, but you won't get benefits from us" is probably what Apple is thinking.



    Which is a compelling reason for Apple to build their own factories. If they can keep so many far east manufacturers busy full time, they might as well just own the factory outright.
  • kpomkpom Posts: 572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Apple can't constrain production of other companies. That's also probably lawsuit worthy if it's done in an illegal manner.



    They have about 3% of the global market for PCs. They are far from having an anti-trust position. They can ask a supplier for exclusivity.
  • larry91403larry91403 Posts: 16member
    Apple should use the same tactic to force better working standards for their factory employees and also get China to accept international trademark standards (helllo iPad). Imagine if Apple threatened to leave China and manufacture somewhere else!
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Which is a compelling reason for Apple to build their own factories. If they can keep so many far east manufacturers busy full time, they might as well just own the factory outright.



    They could site it in a country like Syria. That way, community standards would apply, and so long as the workers didn't get killed because of military assaults, they would be better off.



    Win/Win.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by KPOM View Post


    They have about 3% of the global market for PCs. They are far from having an anti-trust position. They can ask a supplier for exclusivity.



    My guess is that there are few anti-trust laws in China. It is an attractive business environment for multinational corporations.
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