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If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my Tweet about an “early manufacturing report” I received from my sources. In that Tweet, I attached a screenshot where you could read “Staten” and “Early Manufacturing Report,” as well as a codename we decided to hide to protect our sources. Staten is Apple’s codename for the M2 chip.
I believe this is the first time a report like this has been leaked, and as much as I’d love to show you the full report, we have to protect our sources, so this is what I can tell you now.
But first, let me explain what an early manufacturing report is. Big companies like Apple have to complete manufacturing tests when they want to launch a new product, to make sure everything is correct, to solve possible problems, and to see if they need to change or add anything to the assembly lines.
A manufacturing report is a summary of what happened during the test run. It explains when and where the test run took place, who participated, what problems the engineers had, how they solved them, conclusions, and final results. It also includes health, safety, and wellness details.
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This report is divided into five sections:
- Setting details.
- Health, safety, and wellness.
- Manufacturing performance.
- Issues and resolutions.
- Final results.
The setting details explain that this early manufacturing test took place on Monday, December 13, 2021, at Foxconn’s Guangzhou Guangdong plant, lasted four days, and ended on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
Believe it or not, there are multiple people and companies working on Apple products, and not just Apple itself. For instance, numerous people were present at this test, including employees from Apple, Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Limited (Foxconn), Japan Display Incorporated, Samsung Electronics Company Limited, 3M Company, Texas Instruments, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited.
The health, safety, and wellness section states that thousands of people work together to make Apple products and that the company wants to ensure their health and safety. There is an audit team that specifically addresses this issue and found no injuries or hazards during this early production test. COVID-19 regulations were also taken seriously during the test run.
That step is crucial. If people working the assembly lines aren’t in a comfortable position, they won’t do the best job possible. This could result in more faulty units than usual—something that could create a bad image for any product.
In the manufacturing performance section, it was stated that the goal of this test was to determine if Apple could move forward with the next stage of product development for the M2 MacBook Air.
Apple teams like Industrial Design, Advanced Manufacturing, Mac Portable Engineering, and Model Making reported successful early manufacturing during the run.
This will allow mass production to begin in the second week of January 2022. During early manufacturing, approximately 80 PVT M2 MacBook Air units were produced without the need for external intervention.
The report also includes a list of the steps performed, including PCB printing, display lamination, chip placement, chassis machining operations, final assembly, and packaging, among others.
All of these things need to be tested before mass production, because if something goes wrong during mass production, Apple could face significant delays and rising costs.
The issues and resolutions section explained that Apple Advanced Manufacturing identified two minor problems in early manufacturing. These issues were resolved by Apple engineers and did not cause a delay in manufacturing testing. This is a good thing because it means there are fewer chances of the M2 MacBook Air having a delayed launch.
The final results section states that Apple engineers and suppliers accept the manufacturing results and authorize Apple and its suppliers to set up tooling and assembly lines at final assembly locations, contact logistics couriers for delivery of parts and tooling, and begin preparation of government regulatory approval documents. This also includes the approval by some engineers that, for obvious privacy reasons, I can’t mention.
As far as I’m concerned, there are a couple of things we can take from this report. First of all, it appears that production is going well. There are no major problems that need to be fixed or resolved. So if there are no external issues, we shouldn’t see a significant delay in shipping the M2 MacBook Air. It wouldn’t be like the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros, where people had to wait over a month for their computer if they didn’t buy it in the first ten minutes of presale.
Reports like this are hard to come by, Apple keeps them very secret, and very few people have access to them, and that’s why we can’t show you the full thing or give you more specific details about it.
I’m sure someone at Apple Global Security will get angry when they read this article, but I personally believe you have the right to know these things.
This, as well as my in-depth article on the M2 MacBook Air, should give you a complete overview of what Apple is up to with this device and what you can expect once it is unveiled. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Have a great day!
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]