updated 11:09 am EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
Growth of rival metal notebooks exacerbates problems
Apple is continuing to dominate demand for metal chassis parts from Asian supply companies, DigiTimes says. The company has reportedly booked "most" of the capacity available to build the parts for its MacBooks, which are now entirely housed in unibody aluminum. Intensifying the situation are Apple's rivals, which DigiTimes' upstream supply chain sources say are compensating for weak ultrabook sales by turning to ultrabook-like notebooks, causing both metal chassis and slim panel shortages.
Early June is said to have seen slim panel supply "greatly affected by strong demand from downstream brand vendors." The situation is reversing, but supplies are still small, the sources claim.
Ultrabooks are based on an Intel platform developed in response to the success of the MacBook Air. PC makers have had a difficult time producing systems able to compete with the Air in terms of either price or performance, however.