The mysterious "brick" rumor circulating about the expected new MacBook models has just taken another turn, with 9 to 5 Mac claiming that it refers to a new method of crafting laptop casings out of solid bricks of aluminum. According to their source, the new process uses a laser-guided water jet capable of forming a seamless MacBook casing out of a solid block of metal, requiring no screws or bends (which can weaken the material) and reducing overall weight.
A seamless MacBook case is something that has been rumored for some time now, and water-carving would certainly be a way of achieving that. The source suggests that Apple are constructing their own plant to produce the hardware, rather than outsourcing it to one of the usual manufacturers, which would give them more flexibility to tweak the design, greater control over the process and the cost, and even more ability to keep new devices secret until the official launch.
9 to 5 Mac suggest that the new manufacturing process is what Apple's Peter Oppenheimer meant when he said the company was working on something "Apple's competitors won't be able to match" at the most recent financial results call. Currently we expect an announcement at an Apple MacBook event on October 14th, although the company is still tight-lipped about whether such a launch is planned.