Plant closure could affect MacBook Pro shipments, report says

Taiwan-based chassis supplier Catcher Technology has been forced to close plant facilities in Suzhou, China, after local residents complained of "odors" emanating from factories.

Will MacBook Pro shipments be affected by a factory closure?
Will MacBook Pro shipments be affected by a factory closure? Apple

Apple MacBook Pro shipments might be hobbled by the unexpected closure of some of Catcher Technology's manufacturing plant facilities in Suzhou, China, according to a new report.

According to a Catcher filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, local authorities in Suzhou over the weekend closed some of Catcher's computer chassis production facilities after local residents complained of "odors" emanating from factories. In the note to investors, Catcher said yesterday that it plans to fix the machines causing the problem, and expects them to be back up and running by the end of this month.

However, the company said it expects sales revenue this month to drop by 20 percent, and November sales revenue to take a 40 percent hit if it can't get things back up and running by the end of October.

What could that mean to consumers? According to DigiTimes, 80 percent of Catcher's capacity at its Suzhou facility is dedicated to chassis production for Apple's MacBook Pro line. Citing sources, DigiTimes said that the factory closure will have a direct impact on MacBook Pro shipments, though there's no telling how big of an impact that might be.

The news comes on the heels of reports that Apple could be planning to refresh its MacBook Pro line. Earlier this morning, Cult of Mac pointed to a list of new MacBook Pro-related products that aren't shipping until next month. Apple rumor site 9to5Mac has also come across some MacBook Pro product listings that aren't active just yet. That said, it's worth noting that neither report means that a new MacBook Pro refresh is imminent.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on Catcher's troubles. The company has also not responded to a request for confirmation of an impending update to its MacBook Pro line.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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