Catcher’s China Pause May Affect MacBook Shipments

The shutting down of Chinese production plant can be a major set back for Apple. According to an analyst, the outage of Taiwanese company in China may hit Apple’s inventories for its famous MaBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks.

Catcher Technology is in fact a Taiwanese company that has established plants in the People’s Republic of China. The company has confirmed the reports saying that it had temporarily suspended the operations in its Suzhou plant situated in eastern China after having complaints from local officials about ‘strange-odor’ emerging from the plant.

Brain White of Ticonderoga Securities stated that Catcher accounts for 60% of the ‘unibody’ aluminum cases for Apple’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks as well as casings for iMac and some parts for the Smart Cover, which Apple offers as iPad 2 accessories. He further added that the Hon Hai Precision, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology supplies the remaining 40% of the MacBook cases to the Apple.

The Wall Street Journal quoted the remarks of Catcher’s President, Allen Horng which he expressed in a press conference:

“Shipments to our customers will inevitably be affected. We already asked them to make adjustments to their (casings) procurement.”

He further explained that the outage of Catcher’s plant in China will result in 20% decline in shipments for the prevailing month and if the production remains suspended, the shipments may fall to 40% for the November.

Brain White released a note to its client saying, “This shutdown at Catcher is a wildcard and could have an impact on Apple’s Mac business, especially the popular MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Furthermore, we believe a new MacBook Pro is set to be launched soon and this could [also] be impacted.”

MacBooks are an important revenue generator for Apple as it accounted for 70% of the company’s personal computer sales in the second quarter that ended on June 30, while 69% of all Mac revenue for that quarter.

The company could not be able to answer when the company will resume its operations. However, Apple must be hoping that the Catcher Technology get back to its operations as soon as possible to avoid any major delays in shipments that can hit the company’s revenue.

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