Because a large portion of CNC machines are being used to carve out unibody metal-alloy chassis for iPhones, and Japan-, South Korea- and China-based smartphone vendors have adopted or will adopt similar chassis, global CNC capacity for metal-alloy chassis is expected to be in shortage until 2015, according industry sources.
Currently, chassis orders for the new iPhone have already filled up chassis makers’ capacities, which is expected to affect deliveries to non-Apple players.
In addition to Samsung, which is looking to adopt a metal chassis for its new Galaxy Alpha smartphone, Sonly reportedly is also planning to adopt metal chassis for many of its smartphones in 2015, the sources said.
Shortages are also expected to cause metal chassis prices to raise, the sources noted.
Some metal chassis makers such as Uneec (Chenming Mold) is looking to adopt a stamping process to replace the traditional CNC process and is now aggressively promoting its stamped chassis with a internal NMT solution. Uneec has already acquired orders from a China-based first-tier handset vendor and may start mass production in September. However, Uneec declined to comment on orders.