Uni-body casing manufacturer shutdown may affect Mac notebook shipments

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A Chinese factory responsible for manufacturing the metal housings for Apple's uni-body laptop lineup has been shutdown due to "strange odors" emanating from the plant, potentially causing a 40% decrease in shipments for November.



Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company with factories in Eastern China, was ordered on Sunday to shutdown a factory that produces 60% of Apple's uni-body enclosures for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines, according to the Financial Times. The plant also produces casings for Apple's iMac and products for other notebook makers such as Acer, Dell, Lenovo and Sony.



The president of Catcher Technology, Allen Horng, reported that total shipments would fall 20% in October, adding that November could see a 40% drop if the local government doesn't clear the plant for operation by the end of the month.



"Shipments to our customers will inevitably be affected," Horng said in a press conference Monday. "We already asked them to make adjustments to their (casings) procurement."



It is unclear whether the plant shutdown will affect shipments of a rumored MacBook Pro refresh, expected to be announced later this month. Notebooks accounted for a majority of Apple's Mac sales in the quarter ending in June.



Analysts expect another record breaking quarter, bolstered by strengthened MacBook Air sales, when the company announces its quarterly earnings on Tuesday.





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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    As unfortunate as this is for Mac fans, I suppose it's better safe than sorry. If an explosion like the one at Foxconn happened again, and they had ignored strange smells, people would have blamed them for not taking the proper precautions. Good to see these plants valuing safety.



    Having said that, I hope they can get the plant back online soon and get those new MBPs out! Hopefully USB 3.0 is in the works due to the new Intel chips?
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Would not be surprised to learn that Apple commands available capacity first to meet their supply needs. I wouldn't assume equal distribution of capacity loss.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,511member
    I'm interested in getting more details as it evolves. Are there chemicals being used in the milling of the aluminum blocks? Perhaps the lubricants used to cool the milling bits are getting out of hand over there?



    I say it's a good call by the Chinese government for once. If that company is violating something, get it resolved and get environmentally responsible too. Not cool if they were trying to bypass regulations.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    As soon as the latest Update to Macbook Pro Line is out, I'll get my MBP 17', and iPhone 4S!!! I'll max both out!



    But I agree - safety can not be ignored!



    Having watched the latest 10/4/11 iPhone 4S Event, I yet again got a very nice feeling of stability! Apple is a very steady, All Pro "ship", in High End Pro Hands, so I am sure they are handling this, and everything else very well, cause they are pros!
  • Reply 5 of 31
    801801 Posts: 271member
    If this was a company owned by one of the Chinese generals, or some connected hack, this would have never happened. But being owned by a foreign entity, and twiwanese at that, I am certain that all safety regulations must be followed, to the letter and beyond. That's how capitalism works there.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I'm interested in getting more details as it evolves. Are there chemicals being used in the milling of the aluminum blocks? Perhaps the lubricants used to cool the milling bits are getting out of hand over there?



    I say it's a good call by the Chinese government for once. If that company is violating something, get it resolved and get environmentally responsible too. Not cool if they were trying to bypass regulations.



    I doubt it is the machining, though it's possible the coolant can be a problem, it's not likely. I looked up the company, they offer a lot of coatings, painting and chemical treatments. Any one of those can be a problem, and sometimes vapors from different processes can combine into something worse.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    "strange odors"



    No Peter Griffin fart jokes? And I thought I knew you people.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    "Strange odors" emanating from a plant that makes parts for Apple? Hmmm.



    Most likely, the odors are due to Fandroids sneaking around and spying on the plant. Fandroids are ALWAYS looking to save a buck, and buying a 4 dollar deodorant stick is probably too much to expect from these kinds of people.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I would rather have no Mac at all, than one emitting ?strange odors.?
  • Reply 10 of 31
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    1) It's refreshing to hear about a factory issue in China that doesn't include a body count.



    2) I'd think Apple has other companies lined up that would love to get their business so I don't expect to see any major slowdown in sales.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Maybe a Taco Bell opened near the factory recently, most of the workers wanted to get a taste of it... Why is manufacturing like this not done here in the US when we need jobs here. Once these cheap labor wake up to the fact they are underpaid, maybe we'll see manufacturing come back state side.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    lmgslmgs Posts: 63member
    Just the latest attempt to drive the stock price down....
  • Reply 13 of 31
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marokero View Post


    Maybe a Taco Bell opened near the factory recently, most of the workers wanted to get a taste of it... Why is manufacturing like this not done here in the US when we need jobs here. Once these cheap labor wake up to the fact they are underpaid, maybe we'll see manufacturing come back state side.



    not likely; it will go to the next area of cheap labor, most likely places like india, vietnam, maybe parts of south america.



    Eventually we will run out of cheap labor, but imo, that's so far out that its meaningless to try to predict what the world will look like by then.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    doggonedoggone Posts: 276member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) It's refreshing to hear about a factory issue in China that doesn't a body count.



    2) I'd think Apple has other companies lined up that would love to get their business so I don't expect to see any major slowdown in sales.



    Don't speak to soon dude. It could be one of the workers that fell into a hole and no-one noticed.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Tim Cook to VP of Operations Jeff WIlliams. "Oh thats not good" "You still here?". VP of operations. "Im on my way to the Air Port now sir."
  • Reply 16 of 31
    Ten bucks says they find dead bodies....



    No, but seriously... it seems plausible.
  • Reply 17 of 31


    deleted

  • Reply 18 of 31
    And this is why God invented Tim
  • Reply 19 of 31
    lmgslmgs Posts: 63member
    .....
  • Reply 20 of 31
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    As much as I'd like to get involved with the possible political discussion, experience has taught me that political discussions on the Internet are just a downhill trip, so those posts are gone. They were already off topic anyway.
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