By Staff www.electronista.com
Apple commanding unibody chassis supply
Ultrabook vendors are switching to alternate chassis designs to cope with a scarcity of unibody aluminum chassis capacity, according to sources from PC vendors cited by Digitimes.
In particular companies are said to be substituting aluminum with materials like high-density fiberglass, or else using aluminum on the outside but plastic parts on the inside. The root of the capacity problem is said to lie with a combination of technology, temporary issues, and demand by Apple.
The sources explain that each CNC machine used to produce a unibody chassis can only produce a unit every three hours, or eight a day.
The largest unibody chassis maker, Catcher Technology, is moreover said to be experiencing a production stoppage at its Chinese plant, and giving Apple first priority for parts, to the detriment of other vendors. The biggest suppliers of the hybrid metal/plastic parts are said to be Bin Chuan Enterprise and Chi Cheng Enterprise.
Switching to hybrid construction is also said to offer a cost advantage that may help push ultrabooks under $1,000. More info