A while ago, PC makers announced an Apple MacBook Air copy known as the “Ultrabook”. These Ultrabooks are backed by Intel and the goal is to create affordable thin-and-light notebooks that can undercut the MacBook Air on price. How’s that working out for them? Well rumor has it that initial shipments are under 50k. What a joke.
Today, industry sources reported to DigiTimes that PC makers face limited capacity of unibody chassis, because computer numerical control, or CNC, machines can only produce one unibody frame every three hours. So if you do the math, that means that one machine can only produce eight units per day. In fact, Catcher Technology, the largest unibody chassis maker, is said to be still giving priority supply to Apple. Hmmm…I wonder why? Maybe because Apple has a huge cashpile, which allows them to control the supply chain, and MacBook Airs actually generate money!
In an attempt to copy the design of the MacBook Air, Ultrabook makers have also had a hard time securing unibody aluminum chassis, and have instead chosen to adopt new materials like high-density fiberglass, or an exterior aluminum chassis with plastic internal parts. This is just shameful and goes to show that Ultrabook makers have no taste. Apple would never allow this since they take design and quality of a product very seriously, but hey Apple’s still evil.
To top it off, the use of plastic will not only allow Ultrabook makers to increase the number of units produced, but it is also a cost-saving mesaure. A unibody chassis costs between $40 and $80, the new aluminum design with plastic internals is said to cost between $20 and $30. Would you rather own the real deal (MacBook Air) or a wannabe copy (Ultrabook)? The choice is yours.