According to the latest tidbits of insider knowledge out of the far east, Apple is allegedly working on a mysterious new product made with a most interesting component - carbon fiber.

On Wednesday, Japanese blog Macotakara reported that Apple is placing orders for parts made from the aforementioned material. What does that mean? Most likely, Apple is working on a new product that will be lightweight but also immensely rugged and durable.

Could the carbon fiber be implemented into an already-existing Apple product? Possibly. But the chatter out of Asia hints at a new device altogether. Macotakara even notes that Apple's large order of the components confirms that something is brewing on a massive scale. In other words, Apple isn't merely working on a prototype of something in the lab.

With Apple devices getting lighter and lighter with each passing generation, there's no telling what Apple has in mind or if the purchased components could even be related in some fashion to the rumored forthcoming iPad mini. As of this writing, Apple is still expected to formally introduce the smaller, more affordable iPad before the close of 2012.

Source: Macotakara