Seth Weintraub sheds some light on rumors of "The Brick," a code-name for a secret product to be released on Oct. 14th. Apparently it may not be the name of a product at all, but rather, the production method they use to produce the new MacBooks:
The company has spent the last few years building an entirely new manufacturing process that uses lasers and jets of water to carve the MacBooks out of a brick of aluminum.
...What advantages are there to manufacturing with 3D laser and water jet cutting?
- Carving out of aluminum eliminates the need to bend the metal and create weak spots or microfolds and rifts.
- There are no seams in the final product, so it is smooth.
- Screws aren't needed to tie the products together.
- The shell is one piece of metal so it is super light, super strong and super cheap.
- You can be a whole lot more creative with the design if you don't have to machine it.
As Peter Oppenheimer said at the recent earnings call, this innovation is something "Apple's competitors won't be able to match" for some time to come. We expect the process to drive down the prices of MacBooks over the next few years and at the same time allow Apple to continue to lead in the innovation department. Design changes should come much more rapidly with rapid prototyping.