How does Apple customize their computers?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by paddensg, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. paddensg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    #1
    I read a few posts that gave me the vibe that Apple basically rolls out a bunch of stuff with the same configuration, and when someone wants a machine with more horsepower, they take one of these out the stock components and put in the higher end stuff. Is this true?

    Thanks.
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Mar 7, 2007
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    Texas
  3. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #3
    Yes. The stock configurations are what you see on the web, the keynotes, and are the only systems you can buy in a retail outlet. BTOs are online-only.
     
  4. aprofetto macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #4
    Hmm, seems plausible. Kind of don't like the idea that the computer is being handled more than it needs to be, but we have to put our faith in Apple I suppose.
     
  5. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #5
    The BTO options are added at the factory. That is why BTO is an online only option.
     
  6. iphonematt Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #6
    Like the previous poster said, they build BTO orders from scratch. They don't mod already made machines. I just ordered a Mac Mini last week BTO and it is shipping from the factory in China.
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Mar 7, 2007
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    #7
    That doesn't mean anything. Yes, they make the customization at the factory, but that doesn't mean it gets built to your order on the assembly line.
     
  8. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #8
    So you believe they pull apart a fully assembled computer every time there is a BTO order?
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #9
    I'm sure it's no harder than inserting the BTO parts/software into the assembly line.
     
  10. dissdnt macrumors 65816

    dissdnt

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #10
    I just got a 3.06 config and I can tell you without a doubt they crack open an already fully assembled mac to upgrade it. Mine had black muck on the front edges and dirty on the bottm and a little hairline scratch by the sleep light. Whoever upgraded it didn't take any care or even give it a once over before throwing it back in the box. I'm pretty pissed.
     
  11. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #11
    How does having black muck, a dirty bottom, and a scratch prove anything one way or the other?

    I've never seen their factory but I would be very surprised if they start swapping out parts on a fully assembled Mac.
     
  12. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #12
    The CPUs are soldered to the board, so BTO CPUs have to be built-in from the beginning. They probably have a bunch of boards with the 3.06 or whatever chip sitting around. They probably have a separate BTO assembly line. When someone orders a 3.06 with a RAM upgrade and a HD upgrade, they assemble one computer with those specs and ship it out. It would be extra work for them to assemble a computer, then take it apart, upgrade it, and put it back together. They might as well just build it BTO from the start.

    If someone orders say, a stock processor with a RAM or HD upgrade, they probably either pull the computer off the main assembly line before those components are added, or just build them on the BTO line.

    It only makes sense to ship BTO computers direct from the factory because that is expensive. For the stock configurations, they put a bunch of them in a container, which travels for a few weeks on a boat to a distribution center somewhere in the US or Europe, where they are then sent out to Apple stores and online customers. That is not acceptable for BTOs, though, since people don't want to wait weeks for shipping.

    I haven't seen Apple's (or Foxconn or Asus or whoever is making MBPs these days) factory, but what I described is likely the cheapest, thus the best way to do things. If Apple only got a few BTO orders, taking apart an existing computer might work (except for the CPU), but think they get enough BTO orders that that doesn't make sense for them. The BTO assembly line could be less automated than the main assembly line, though. For example, if they have a memory installing robot on the main line, they might just have a memory installing person on the BTO line since a second robot would be expensive.
     
  13. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    #13
    I bet there is no automation in assembly. Labor is cheap.

    http://www.china-labour.org.hk/en/node/100206
    1,750.00 CNY = 256.166 USD
    China Yuan Renminbi United States Dollars
    1 CNY = 0.146381 USD 1 USD = 6.83151 CNY
     
  14. dissdnt macrumors 65816

    dissdnt

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #14
    Proves it was handled. Get a grip.
     
  15. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Southsea
    #15
    It's all automated. Orders go through Apple's site and are then sent to whichever factory is manufacturing that specific machine. At the factory, the orders go into another system which hands out the orders to the various assembly robots. These robots have stocks of potential components such as 1GB and 2GB RAM DIMMs, various HDDs, etc. The robot reads the orders its given, installs the correct components, screws on the bottom case and off it goes.

    The thing only humans do are maintain the robots and perform QC checks.
     
  16. schalkse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #16
    There is a BTO production line where all BTO's are build.
    Each BTO has an ordernumber with a BOM (Bill of material) attached to it.
    Your BTO components are picked according to the BOM and placed in a tray The tray will accompany the shell down the line. BTO may require more manual handling of the machine then the standard machines.

    No way they open already build machines.
     

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