Ultrabook makers turn to new materials to cope with Apple

By Staff  www.electronista.com

Apple commanding unibody chassis supply

Asus Zenbook

Asus Zenbook

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

  • BigFlyer12

    I think it is not good idea to replace the aluminium with plastic materials. It’s step backwards rather then improvement

  • http://www.facebook.com/NateJAbrams Nate Gifted Abrams

    I love how every company is making the ATTEMPT to compete with apple’s products. Suddenly, companies are concerned about the user experience of the hardware more than they’ve ever been before. What I’d like to know is what exactly does a casual computer user look for in a computer? Is it the innovative approach toward hardware design then the software? or the other way around?