Apple has added two Chinese manufacturers to its MacBook chassis supplier list as part of an effort to drive down the prices quoted by their usual Taiwanese suppliers.
According to a new report from DigiTimes, two companies obtained Apple certification in 2017 and began small-volume shipments in 2018. “China-based Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology and AAC Technologies have reportedly become suppliers of metal-alloy chassis for use in MacBook notebooks,” reads the report.
In the past, Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, Foxconn Technology, and Casetek Holdings have been the main suppliers of MacBook chassis for Apple, and the Cupertino firm reportedly plans to continue to rely on them. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to take advantage of the Chinese companies’ lower production costs.
“With their excellent manufacturing capabilities, many Taiwan suppliers used to rely on Apple orders to support their revenue increases and outperform China counterparts,” reads the report. “But Apple has changed its marketing strategies in recent years and started to introduce more China makers into its supply chains, as the US vendor has no longer stuck to top consumer groups for sales of its devices, becoming more concerned about production costs, the sources said.”
Apple will likely use this new-found leverage in China-based manufacturer’s lower costs to help push down prices with Taiwan-based manufacturers. According to the story’s sources, this increased competition from Chinese manufacturers will bring more impact on gross margins than on order volumes for Taiwanese manufacturers.