iPhone 6 concept (NowhereElse and Martin Hajek 003)

The metal casing of the next iPhone will be made by Catcher Technology, according to Far East media outlets who on Wednesday relayed analyst notes by investment firms Barclays and Morgan Stanley.

Apparently, Catcher has secured a nice chunk of metal casing orders for the upcoming iPhone 6.

If true, this suggests that the iPhone maker is currenly in the process of cherry-picking suppliers that will provide components for the handset.

A report recently claimed that mass production of a 4.7-inch iPhone model is scheduled to commence in July, ahead of a rumored September introduction…

According to a pair of reports by Taipei Times and The China Post published this week and highlighted by GforGames, Apple has commissioned Catcher to produce about 10.5 million iPhone 6 metal casings by year’s end, representing an estimated fifteen percent of the total iPhone 6 orders.

Based on these data points, analysts have now revised their targets and now expect Apple to ship about seventy million iPhone units in the calendar year 2014. Catcher is believed to have entered Apple’s iPhone supply chain late last year with the iPhone 5s.

Barclays said it expects Apple’s next-generation smartphone to be launched in the second half of the year and that shipments of the new model will be 35 to 40 percent higher than the previous one. 

Morgan Stanley estimates Catcher should deliver metal casings for twenty million iPhones this year, which includes the iPhone 5s units. Shipments to Apple should represent an estimated one-fifth of Catcher’s 2014 revenues and 32 percent of its sales in 2015.

iPhone 5 (manufacturing process 003)

The Taiwanese company is named as a supplier on the list of major manufacturing partners found on Apple’s website.

The company operates plants in China’s Suzhou province and elsewhere and has been producing Unibody shells for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks for years now, making it one of the world’s biggest makers of metal casings for notebook PCs.

It’s also building the iPad mini’s aluminum chassis in a specialized plant. Apple business contributes to about 40 percent of Catcher’s total revenue.