Sometimes having a manufacturing relationship with Apple can have unexpected repercussions. Asia-based Pegatron, which makes iPhones for Apple at this time, is reportedly being asked to cease production of Ultrabook laptops for Asus or face the consequences of losing orders from Apple.
Ultrabooks are the Wintel world's answer to the MacBook Air, and a number of PC manufacturers showed off their products at this year's CES. According to an article in the Chinese-language Commercial Times, Apple believed the MacBook Air and Asus Zenbook designs to be so similar that they asked Pegatron to stop building the Asustek devices.
Pegatron stands to suffer a lot if it loses Apple contracts. Not only does the company assemble iPhones for Apple, but they're also rumored to be producing the next-generation iPads that are expected to ship next month.
A blogger at 9to5Mac also wonders about how Ultrabook production could affect another Apple contractor. Quanta Computer is the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world, and they assemble Mac notebooks for Apple. The company reportedly purchased a number of computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines for building unibody frames for Ultrabooks. Apple could theoretically threaten Quanta to stop using the unibody manufacturing process that the Cupertino company pioneered.