Apple explores use of carbon fiber in next-gen iPad, other mobile devices

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac“Apple is exploring the use of carbon fiber to create reinforced housing for its mobile devices, with the iPad a potential candidate to utilize the strong-but-light material,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new patent application from Apple this week entitled ‘Reinforced Device Housing,'” Hughes reports. “Discovered by AppleInsider, [it] describes an outer shell for electronic devices composed of a ‘layered fiber-in-matrix type material, such as CFRP,’ otherwise known as carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.”

Hughes reports, “Illustrations that accompany the filing show a single, unibody housing similar in shape to the iPad. Apple’s current, first-generation iPad has a solid aluminum back.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Hmm…didn’t Dell and Compaq go this cheap plastic route with their computers?

    I wonder how Apple is going to command premium prices for cheap plastic casings?

    Unless Apple plans on bringing the price down? Lower prices with lower costs per unit, means more sales and a rising stock price.

    Stay tuned!

  2. @Bunches of Munches:

    Carbon fiber is NOT cheap plastic. The real stuff, at least. There are lots of cheap plastic “carbon fiber look” products out there, such as some iPhone cases, that are not real carbon fiber. Real carbon fiber is the material universally used now for the most high tech, state of the art racing yachts, such as America’s Cup boats. Also high end, high performance automobiles. Also now, the most expensive tripods are being made in carbon fiber. Expensive stuff, not easily crafted by machine. Usually hand crafted. Not sure how Apple would make it work but I long suspected that they might eventually go the carbon fiber route.

  3. Aluminium is so much better for a lot of reasons, namely rigidity, texture and the ability to be recycled. It was only a year or two ago when Apple was blowing its horn about the unibody production process and now they are abandoning it because the iPad is too heavy for some people?! Maybe the exercise will do them good.

  4. This jut may be an exercise for Apple, they have documented many things in the past like this.

    Although what about the heat dissipation of Aluminum? I thought it was being used for several reasons?

    Hmmm?

    -Pi

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