Big revenue jump at longtime Apple supplier points to an order for aluminum iPhone casings

It’s always hard to keep track of Apple’s supply chain rumors, even for observers in Asia, but one thing the parts rumors make clear is that Apple(s appl) is planning to sell a massive amount of iPhones this fall.

The latest piece of evidence is longtime Apple supplier Catcher Technology’s July revenue: at $154 million, it’s up 36.8 percent over last July, which would appear to indicate a big new order…like, perhaps, an order to supply a proportion of the aluminum bodies for the 70 to 80 million iPhones Apple expects to sell this fall.

iPhone 6 case back 5

While Catcher Technology has long been Apple’s supplier for the aluminum bodies of its MacBook line and certain iPads, iPhone bodies have usually been manufactured by Foxconn and Jabil. In April, though, investment banks advised that Catcher would be supplying at least 10 million iPhone casings, although subsequent reports have raised quality control questions. A lot of the uncertainty can be attributed to the fact that Apple is thought to have two new sizes of iPhone in the works, which could mean that each casing comes from a different mix of suppliers.

Catcher Technology has also been linked to an aluminum case for a Samsung phone, perhaps the Galaxy Alpha also expected to come out this fall.

This revenue figure appears to support last month’s Wall Street Journal report that Apple’s iPhone orders were going to significantly boost revenues at component suppliers across Asia. It also lends credence to the aluminum se leaks we’ve been seeing the past few months, as aluminum machining is Catcher’s specialty.