Apple is expected to revamp the rest of its notebook lineup around ultra-thin MacBook models later this summer, which poses questions regarding the future of the existing MacBook Air lineup as Apple’s thinnest notebooks. In a new report Friday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes cited local component makers as saying that they are starting to see increasing competition for related component orders ahead of a rumored launch of “new ultra-thin MacBooks in the second half of 2016.”
“To achieve an ultra-thin design, Apple’s new MacBooks adopt metal injection molding-made (MIM) hinges,” reads the article. Metal injection molding results in much smaller and more precise components than the traditional metal production techniques, an important feat for ultra-thin devices like Apple’s notebooks where space is at premium.
Existing Apple supplier Amphenol will reportedly supply these hinges and is likely to take some orders away from existing partners Shin Zu Shing and Jarllytec. Amphenol also produces special hinges for Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet/notebook hybrid.
Taiwanese companies Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology are competing for battery pack orders for the new notebooks with China-based Desay and Sunwoda Electronics, both of which have sent battery samples to Apple for testing.
Conventional wisdom has it that the forthcoming Apple notebooks will utilize Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, the latter having made its debut in Apple products on the 12-inch MacBook Air, and run Intel’s refreshed Skylake platform.