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Businessweek spoke to some experts about the feasibility of Apple introducing a new manufacturing process and bringing notebook production in-house.

iSuppli analyst Kevin Keller believes that while short term costs would rise, there could be a savings over time:
"If you're working with one single unit of metal, you're reducing a lot of the materials costs and also a lot of labor time on assembly"
If true, the results could "be unlike anything else on the market in appearance and design" with elimination of screws and seams. Still, it's unclear if Apple could overcome the fact that such the process is quite time-intensive, and scale it enough for laptop production.

As well, the possibility of Apple investing in its own factories to assemble notebooks is seen as a very expensive and risky move and there appears to be no current evidence that Apple has embarked on such a project.
. "I'd be shocked if they started doing any of their own assembly," says Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore. "That's the kind of drastic step that would hurt profits. I'm just not sure what the advantages would be."
Meanwhile, CNet's Adam Richardson, an industrial designer, dismisses some of the rumors claiming that Apple has been using both laser and waterjet methods for quite sometime. He reports that the process described by 9to5mac as applied to a notebook-sized device would be much more expensive than traditional manufacturing and feels it's "unlikely that it will literally be a hollowed out block of aluminum".

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Yixian

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
1,480
135
Europe
Well, wouldn't it being more expensive initially fit with Apple's lower forecast for the next Q?
 
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macbook123

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2006
1,865
85
Hopefully this means cheaper Macbook Pro's arriving at Macworld in January...

I don't believe the October 14 hype.
 
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brad.c

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2004
2,053
1
50.813669°, -2.474796°
I wonder what weighs more on our minds: a pound of brick rumours, or a pound of broken dreams. I'm pulling the trigger on whatever is available Oct 15.
 
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15 noveltybread

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2008
13
0
I can't help but keep going back to thought of all the wasted material this process would produce. Hollowing out a block of aluminum? There has got to be 1 to 1 1/2 more cases worth in aluminum being dug out of that chunk that would need melted back down and cast into another block.

I don't know this rumor never made much sense to me.
 
Comment

LanPhantom

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2007
125
0
Hooper, UT
More like the iPod

seamless with all the contents fitted inside the case from the back with a couple of screws holding it in. Just like the ipod nano's. The display would be mounted onto a strong frame support inside this seamless case and when work needs to be done, just remove a couple of screws from the back and the WHOLE motherboard and assembly slides out the rear. This would leave the case and a keyboard assembly as one unit.

I like this idea.

LanPhantom
 
Comment

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,681
226
Washington, DC
Well, wouldn't it being more expensive initially fit with Apple's lower forecast for the next Q?

I think that was generally understood to mean that new products would mean having to sell off old ones in the pipeline and that any new product is initially less profitable because of ramp-up costs, not because it's an inherently more expensive manufacturing process.

BTW, if they're using some hollowed out aluminum block, how does one swap hard drives, add memory, or do any repairs?
 
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nanvinnie

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2007
180
0
Ultem 2300

I would like to see mbp's injection molded from ultem 2300 or something. big expensive tool, cheap, durable, reproducible cases. haha.
 
Comment

Mactagonist

macrumors 65816
Feb 5, 2008
1,054
102
NYC - Manhattan
I can't help but keep going back to thought of all the wasted material this process would produce. Hollowing out a block of aluminum? There has got to be 1 to 1 1/2 more cases worth in aluminum being dug out of that chunk that would need melted back down and cast into another block.

I don't know this rumor never made much sense to me.

Do you think they would throw that out? Why?

Aluminum has a very low melting point, all scraps could be collected and melted into new blocks to use again at a very low cost in energy.
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,810
592
Redondo Beach, California
No one would machine a case out of a solid block. What you'd do is use a hydrauli press to form a block of metal into the basic shape. Aluminum flows like putty given enough presure. Then you follow up with the lasers and water for some of the detaails.

Ever seen how they make a soda can? They put a littel ound pellet in a can shaped hole and hit it with a ram the metal flows up and around the ram, just like it was water. It takes just a fraction of a second. If you can turn a pellet into a can you can turn a slab into a case
 
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Low

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2003
88
0
just bought a 2.4 mbp a couple of months ago...i dont mind buying another if it looks even more sleek....:)
 
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Battlefield Fan

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2008
1,063
0
I am willing to bet the reason why apple said it's profits will be down at the last earnings report is because apple is making their own factory
 
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15 noveltybread

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2008
13
0
Do you think they would throw that out? Why?

Aluminum has a very low melting point, all scraps could be collected and melted into new blocks to use again at a very low cost in energy.

No I don't think they would throw it out. Thats why I said "....would need melted back down and cast into another block."

How would machining out a block and re-melting the scraps into a new block use less energy than a simple die pressed case? It's way less waste and much faster.
 
Comment

ilfn143

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2008
516
92
Enron by the Sea
No one would machine a case out of a solid block. What you'd do is use a hydrauli press to form a block of metal into the basic shape. Aluminum flows like putty given enough presure. Then you follow up with the lasers and water for some of the detaails.

Ever seen how they make a soda can? They put a littel ound pellet in a can shaped hole and hit it with a ram the metal flows up and around the ram, just like it was water. It takes just a fraction of a second. If you can turn a pellet into a can you can turn a slab into a case

this make sense
 
Comment

mikespit1

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2008
6
0
Every hour that goes by without confirmation of a press invite for the 14th, I die a little inside =(
 
Comment

jdmlight

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2007
120
0
Chicagoland Suburbs
How do you get them inside in the first place?
Oh, it'll be just as much fun as opening an iPod Video...:rolleyes:

I'd be angry if Apple did this because I always upgrade parts of my computers to extend their life (esp. RAM). This would make it so much harder to open the cases (not that it'd stop me from doing it :p).
 
Comment

gifford

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2007
422
0
Miserable England
No one would machine a case out of a solid block. What you'd do is use a hydrauli press to form a block of metal into the basic shape. Aluminum flows like putty given enough presure. Then you follow up with the lasers and water for some of the detaails.

Ever seen how they make a soda can? They put a littel ound pellet in a can shaped hole and hit it with a ram the metal flows up and around the ram, just like it was water. It takes just a fraction of a second. If you can turn a pellet into a can you can turn a slab into a case

I never realized soda cans could be so interesting.
 
Comment

happydude

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2006
1,063
420
a gasping dying planet
seamless with all the contents fitted inside the case from the back with a couple of screws holding it in. Just like the ipod nano's. The display would be mounted onto a strong frame support inside this seamless case and when work needs to be done, just remove a couple of screws from the back and the WHOLE motherboard and assembly slides out the rear. This would leave the case and a keyboard assembly as one unit.

I like this idea.

LanPhantom

good point, i think both ipods and iphones would fit this process
 
Comment
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