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  • Apple May Bring Carbon Fiber to the iPad

    If you though the iPad was sleek and light as a feather, just wait until you get a load of the second-generation iPad. If reports published today prove accurate, the next iPad to reach consumers could be pretty incredible. In fact, traders and financial analysts on Wall Street are already reacting to the news that Apple is said to be considering the use of carbon fiber to produce the housing for its popular line of iDevices, but most likely for the iPad.

    To be clear, this isn't a rumor or an un-sourced speculation. The suggestion comes directly from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Freshly published images indicate Apple's model for an iPad shell composed of "layered fiber-in-matrix type material, such as CFRP," which, in reality, is carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The most noticeable consequence of making the move to carbon fiber, of course, would be an even lighter iPad, as the presently utilized aluminum encasing would be gone.

    Are there disadvantages to a carbon fiber encasement? Yes. The iPad could possibly be much more prone to cracking or damage given the less sturdy foundation of the device's housing. But if the patent is being studied correctly by outside parties, it would appear that Apple has solved for much of these concerns by having the fibers run in opposite directions, lending as much sturdiness as possible to this incredibly lightweight model.

    It isn't yet clear when a second generation iPad will be introduced, but many believe Spring 2011 would be the absolute soonest.

    Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple May Bring Carbon Fiber to the iPad started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. Legend_master's Avatar
      Legend_master -
      Awesome, that would be a nice touch to the iPad.
    1. \m/ibnziceman\m/'s Avatar
      \m/ibnziceman\m/ -
      they should make mbp out of carbon fibers to help reduce the denting of the shells. itd be much nicer than having to buy a stupid case
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      who cares? by the the time we get all the good features from apple, we will be on ipad6. then i'll get an other one,i will never buy any first gen device fron apple ever again.
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      hope this is nothing like their "sturdy glass" on the iphone 4. But i do know carbon fiber is much lighter. Would be nice since i am using the BEAST case Otterbox Defender for my iPad so it could use to be a little lighter. That case wieghs about a lb itself. But my son can drop it and i feel its pretty damn protected as it has happened a couple of times and notta. We need lots of new things to the ipad 2nd gen but how bout 4.2 first?! lol
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      that would make the look of the ipad amazing, but like mentioned, i think that the aluminum should stay for durability because carbon fiber does crack
    1. norfskate's Avatar
      norfskate -
      This article makes me wet
    1. NessLookAlike's Avatar
      NessLookAlike -
      Carbon fiber? Cool I guess, but what happened to liquid metal?
    1. MPS3's Avatar
      MPS3 -
      i don't see this happening
      maybe a carbon frame inside but not on the out side
      as much as i love carbon
      i just don't see some business men getting it if its carbon
      its not really a business accessory its more like a car junkies dream
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Are these patent markups they have on MMi the actual ones, or do they just have somebody to a quick sketch so the article looks cooler on the main page??
    1. sub zero's Avatar
      sub zero -
      im not sure i like this writer to much....
    1. MPS3's Avatar
      MPS3 -
      and carbon also expands with heat and shrink in the cold
    1. 6309phone's Avatar
      6309phone -
      Before everyone gets too excited about Carbon Fiber, remember the TiBook? The first thing that cracked was the carbon fiber and the paint peeled off it too.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      id love to see this happen
    1. athleticswimmer's Avatar
      athleticswimmer -
      Sounds really cool, but ill have to see it to believe it......
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      While this isn't based on a rumor, I think it is a misrepresentation of the facts to report this as a feature of the next generation iPad. Unless I am missing something obvious, this is merely another one of Apple's extremely long list of patents, nothing more. We all know how few of them actually make their way into production models. This is certainly newsworthy and great to talk about, but stating things such as "If you though the iPad was sleek and light as a feather, just wait until you get a load of the second-generation iPad", is pure conjecture.

      Having said that, I think a carbon fiber backed iPad would look extremely sleek. Unfortunately I'm not too certain how practical of an idea it would pan out to be. As others have said, CFRP expands and contracts quite a bit due to the environment and has a tendency to splinter. I'm curious as to how this would effect the bottom line. CFRP isn't a cheap material to use (especially considering Apple's usually strict quality standards), and it wouldn't reduce the iPad's weight significantly enough to justify a significant increase in production costs. Hell, the iPad's only 1.5 lbs. it's not like the MBA, which shaves 3-4 lbs (roughly) from the next lightest MacBook model.

      Personally, I would like to see a design similar to the iPhone 4's. I would like a flat rear panel on the next iPad. I wasn't a fan of the rounded shell on the 3G & 3GS, nor am I a fan of it on the current iPad. As glossy black panel with an aluminum frame like the iPhone 4 would look very nice on the iPad. Then again, except for about 20 minutes, I've had my iPad in the Apple case ever since I bought it this summer.
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      They should put a add on camera 
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      This is one of those few Apple trade marks that we`ll probably see
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      It'll sound awesome to have, but I'm not sure how I'd like it because it seems like it will add a lot to the price.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Sound cool. But aluminum dent and carbon crack.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Wait til people start dropping them and complaining about cracks. Then we'll get reports on not dropping them and polls comparing the aluminum to the carbon fiber and which one cracks the easiest. Same as the iPhone glass.