Apple deals with a variety of component suppliers in the Asia Pacific region. Usually, the production process is uneventful, but sometimes the company has to do some fancy juggling to keep its product inventory in balance. Most of the time, customers don't see these behind-the-scene changes, because Apple has the reserves to buy its components from other suppliers when one can't meet demand.
Recently, it had to shift production of its aluminum MacBook Pro and Air cases to a new supplier. Apple was buying its aluminum cases from Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, but officials closed the company in October after local residents complained of unpleasant odors coming from the plant. The plant is under investigation and production is at a stand still while it tries to solve its stinkiness. IDC Analyst Helen Chiang says the prolonged disruption at this Taiwan plant has not affected Apple's inventory of Apple's MacBook models. Apple has been able to offload production to another supplier and everything is smooth sailing.