Feeds

Carbon fiber MacBooks to appear soon?

Long-running rumor gets biennial booster shot

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Those long-rumored carbon fiber MacBooks may be inching closer towards reality, if anonymous Asian sources can be trusted.

According to a post on the Japanese website Macotakara (Mac お宝, or Mac Treasure), "some engineer of Apple and Foxconn Technology" has requested carbon fiber parts from an unnamed Japanese company, and "the number of parts is too large to be called 'sample'."

It should be noted that Macotakara did not identify its tattling source, and that the blog posting is clearly labled "Rumor".

Still, this is not the first time that carbon fiber has popped up as a possible replacement for aluminum in Apple's laptop line. The rumor first surfaced in November 2008, and was given new life by an Apple patent application published in November 2010 entitled "Reinforced Device Housing", which described a "housing for an electronic device or other object" made from a "layered fiber-in-matrix type material, such as CFRP."

CFRP, as you materials-scientist types know, stands for either carbon fiber reinforced polymer or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, depending upon whom you ask.

Image from Apple's carbon fiber case patent application

From Apple's carbon fiber case patent: lighter, stronger, sexier, and ... well ... more carbony

Macotakara also reminds us that since March 2011 Apple has employed Kevin Kenney as a Senior Composites Engineer. Kenny was previously President and CEO of Kestrel Bicycles, a company known for its work since 1987 on high-end, custom-designed carbon fiber frames.

The website also notes that Apple Japan has posted a job opening for "engineers to develop products using carbon material" in its Tokyo office in skyscraper-rich Shinjuku-ku.

If these latest addenda to the carbon fiber–MacBook rumor collection are correct, we may see lighter, slimmer Apple laptops – or, for that matter, carbon fiber iPads or iPhones – in the not-so-distant future. The thinner-laptop possibility, by the way, is supported by another Asian rumor that surfaced on Wednesday: a DigiTimes report that Apple is slimming the light guides for its backlit keyboards from 0.4mm to 0.25mm.

As anyone who remembers those Chesterfield 101 ads from the 1960s will tell you, every silly millimeter counts. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.