Apple made some big splashes with their all aluminum MacBook designs a couple of years ago. The original iPhone was even covered in the popular metal. It appears that aluminum is so 2007, as reports are circulating this morning that Apple is looking to go carbon fiber.
It’s certainly not anything new, Apple has been rumored to be experimenting with carbon-fiber enclosures for quite some time. Back in 2010, Apple won a patent on improved composite materials that hinted that they were researching the use of carbon-fiber composites in electronic devices. Could we see the light weight material in future Apple products?
It’s becoming more and more likely, as yesterday 9to5Mac revealed more details about Apple’s next big materials move. Kevin Kenny, a composites engineer from the San Francisco area, has spent the last 14 years building carbon fiber bicycles. Needless to say, he’s not making 2 wheelers anymore.
After years of working indirectly with Apple, the composites expert is officially on Apple’s payroll. His Linkedin profile recently changed from President of Kestrel Bicycles to Senior Composites Engineer at Apple. Now what could Apple want with a materials engineer who has a background in custom manufacturing processes for volume production of advanced composite products?
Rumor has it Apple is looking to integrate carbon fiber and other high grade composites into the housing of iDevices and other products. Imagine how light carbon fiber would make an iPhone, yet still keep it protected from accidental drops.
Of course this is all speculation at this point. But it certainly brings an interesting element to the table, as we try to envision what the next iPhone and future Apple products may look like.
What do you think? Would you want carbon fiber housing on your iDevice?