Production of Next-gen MacBooks for Apple Causes Labor Shortages in China

Source: MacBook Pro/ Apple

In a report posted by DigiTimes last Monday, it seems that there is a strong demand for Apple’s next-generation MacBooks. However, the company’s component suppliers at the Far East are facing labor shortages, as they race to produce enough supplies for the Mac maker’s production line.

On the other hand, some supply chains are outsourcing their orders to meet “strong orders from Apple” for its next-generation notebooks that are due “in the near future”. According to sources from the upstream supply chain:

“Component manufacturing plants in eastern China have been suffering from labor shortages for a long time, and although May and June are the IT industry’s traditional slow season when shortage issues are usually not as significant, the strong orders from Apple’s new MacBook are leaving many upstream makers unable to satisfy demand.”

Ramping Up Production to Meet Strong Demands

The were claims that suppliers have started delivering the first batch of components for the company’s new notebook lineup as early as last month. In relation to this, shipments for the device’s new chassis will increase this month. It is expected that manufacturers will ramp up their production next month, in time for the possible launch of next-generation MacBooks this July.

Component manufacturers are expecting that Apple’s total MacBook order this year will jump up from 12.79 million last year to around 16.24 million-19.2 million. It is a run rate that would see the company sells an average of more than four million notebooks each quarter.

Vague Production Figures

However, it is unclear whether the orders are meant for the updated MacBook Air or the completely redesigned MacBook Pro. Both devices have long been reported to adopt similar enclosure and design traits. In fact, Apple is said to cut the fat from its core products like the iPhone, iPad and iMac.

But a quick analysis on the estimated production figures suggests that the orders are referring to the combined production of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. That’s because Apple reported a total sale of 12.87 million notebook system in 2011 earlier this year. This number roughly coincides with the 12.79 million production figure mentioned earlier.

Last updated on July 2011, it was reported in February that Apple is set to launch a new model of MacBook Air. However, no specific timeline for its release was given. On the other hand, the company is allegedly planning to exit 2012 with a complete top-to-bottom revamp of their MacBook Pro lineup.

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