Rumour: Apple's move to carbon fiber iDevices & Macs possible after recent hire

There have been rumours of Apple considering a design shift for a while - more specifically, a shift from the iconic aluminum currently dominating their iPads and almost their entire Mac line minus the Macbook. These rumours have been going on for years, as early as November 2008. However, we now have a bit more concrete proof that Apple may in fact be working on carbon fiber designs after all, and they're bound to look a lot better than the carbon fiber stickers donning the Macbook in the above photograph.

9to5Mac reported yesterday afternoon on the recent hire of Kevin Kenney as Apple's Senior Composites Engineer. Until last month, Kenney was the president and CEO of Kestrel Bicycles, a manufacturer of bicycles with carbon fiber frames. Kenney was no recent stranger to Apple, having worked on an patent filed in 2009 for a housing made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic. At the time, Kenney was working as a consultant to Apple, and filed the patent on their behalf.

It should be noted that there are already laptops with carbon fiber bodies on the market today, such as Sony's Vaio X ultraportables. Nevertheless, it could be interesting to see what unique twist Apple will take with its products, as it did with its current unibody enclosures for the Macbook Pro and Air.

Image Credit: Slashgear

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I'd be quite surprised if they did this given the song and dance they made about going to aluminium unibody stuff really only in the last few years. I know tech moves fast but IIRC they spent a fair amount of money acquiring the company that developed that tech. Would be a bit confusing to ditch that and move onto a new tech for casing their equipment already?

Then again - Apple has got so much cash right now, I'm sure it wouldn't really matter to them.

Chicane-UK said,
I'd be quite surprised if they did this given the song and dance they made about going to aluminium unibody stuff really only in the last few years. I know tech moves fast but IIRC they spent a fair amount of money acquiring the company that developed that tech. Would be a bit confusing to ditch that and move onto a new tech for casing their equipment already?

Then again - Apple has got so much cash right now, I'm sure it wouldn't really matter to them.

I've always been suprised they went ot Aluminium considering the very large amount of power it takes to produce aluminium before they machine it down... doesn't seem very "green"

Can't wait for Apple to invent carbon fiber construction for computers. It will be revolutionary and magical. With unicorns.

white carbon fibre would be nice, however if it's real carbon fibre, i'd rather just vinyl wrap it, far cheaper

"It should be noted that there are already laptops with carbon fiber bodies on the market today"

Apple marketing won't let facts get in the way of declaring that it's innovative or some kind of first.

.Kompressor said,
what will be the cost differences of switching from aluminum to carbon fiber?

It's probably pretty expensive compared to aluminium, but manufacturing costs are being reduced.

It depends how they are actually using it on the price difference though, need more details.

.Kompressor said,
what will be the cost differences of switching from aluminum to carbon fiber?

Carbon Fibre prices are dropping everyday, and there are many ways to improve, and further reduce pricing. Aluminum price is on the rise with no end in sight.

Jenson said,
Oh dear, if they start including carbon fibre shells expect the prices to go astronomical.
they already are. But dear god...

Jenson said,
Oh dear, if they start including carbon fibre shells expect the prices to go astronomical.

Too true LOL. Price goes up, function stays the same

Teebor said,

Too true LOL. Price goes up, function stays the same

Or...They'll just add a new piece to their hardware to bring it up to last year's specs and announce it as being "Revolutionary".

*Facepalm* I like my 13" MBP for just work stuff, but damn...it is soo inefficient in cooling...****es me off...goes up to 90C upon HD flash video watching. I guess that won't change with their next design either.

vraev said,

Or...They'll just add a new piece to their hardware to bring it up to last year's specs and announce it as being "Revolutionary".

No not "Revolutionary" "Legendary"

Jenson said,
Oh dear, if they start including carbon fibre shells expect the prices to go astronomical.

Until you realize, Carbon Fibre prices are dropping everyday, and there are many ways to improve, and further reduce pricing. Aluminum price is on the rise with no end in sight.