Has Apple Cornered The China OZ Airfreight Market?
Apple is believed to have cornered the market for the bulk of airfreight between China and Australia, with insiders telling ChannelNews that large chunks of air freight capacity into Australia during late March and mid-April have been booked out by Foxconn for Apple products because of the Coronavirus.
Foxconn are also the owner of Belkin and Sharp and they assemble the bulk of Apple iPhones and PC’s.
What’s not known is whether the airfreight bookings are for just for Apple products or other Foxconn products.
Recently the price of airfreighting product into Australia because of the Coronavirus “skyrocketed” according to one PC manufacturer. What was $12 a unit for an airfreighted notebook prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus is now over $80 a unit with manufacturers now finding the price increase “too expensive to consider air freight” said one major supplier.
Late yesterday it was revealed that the launch of a new MacBooks running its own chipsets could be delayed, it was due in the second quarter of 2020 but could now slip to the 4th quarter.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a research note obtained by MacRumors, didn’t specify whether these laptops will belong to the Air or Pro line-up but previous reports have suggested that Apple intends to drop Intel processors for nearly all of its computers with the new house brand processor set to feature in future models.
Apple is currently developing ARM-based processors for its line of notebooks.
Observers claim the coronavirus epidemic could potentially stymie these launches by affecting supply chains and production lines in China.
Kuo believes that “operations at MacBook-related suppliers will improve significantly starting in late March.”
It’s also been revealed that Apple has aggressively ramped up funding for research, development, and production of 5nm process chips that will power its ARM chips. Most of the company’s upcoming products such as the iPhone 9 have been reportedly delayed due to COVID-19 which was yesterday declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization
In addition, Kuo expects MacBooks with a revamped design to launch in the second or third quarter of 2021. While the MacBook Air was overhauled last year, it has been three years since the MacBook Pro was refreshed.
Kuo added that these new computers will have a range of cost-cutting optimizations, but the differences will be barely noticeable in real life. It’s unclear what kind of optimizations Kuo is referring to and how will they impact the MacBook’s overall experience.