Skip to main content

Are carbon fiber Apple products in the works?

apple-carbon-fiber-logoYour next MacBook could be made of ultra lightweight carbon fiber, if a recent Apple hire is any indication. 9to5Mac reports that Apple has brought expert carbon fiber designer Kevin Kenny on board, which suggest that his talents for working with the lightweight material could soon be used in upcoming Apple products.

Kenny, who holds the title of “Senior Composites Engineer” at Apple, comes from Kestral Bicycles, where he served as the company’s president and CEO for most of the last 14 years. Kestral is famous for its groundbreaking work with carbon fiber, and was the first company to produce an entire bicycle frame out of carbon fiber.

Apple’s materials of choice has long been aluminum, stainless steel and glass to build their popular products, from Mac computer to iPhones and iPods. The Cupertino, California, company’s employment of Kenny points to a possible shift.

As long-time Apple watchers have surely already noted, this is far from the first time rumors have surfaced about Apple planning to release products made of carbon fiber. All the way back in 2008, there was talk about Apple producing a MacBook Air laptop with carbon fiber replacing the aluminum parts. And just this February, reports indicated that the iPad 2 would have a carbon fiber body. Obviously, neither of those rumors turned out to be true.

Not all carbon fiber-Apple talk has been based purely on speculation, however. In 2009, Apple filed a patent for a “reinforced device housing” partially made of carbon fiber, which suggests either a carbon fiber Mac laptop or iOS device is in the works.

Carbon fiber isn’t the only next-generation material in Apple’s arsenal. Last year, Apple filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to acquire the rights to nearly all of the “non-crystalline alloy metals” invented by Liquidmetal Technologies.

While Apple’s production plans remain purely speculation, the constant motion of the technology industry toward more lightweight devices makes this carbon fiber talk likely — even if the specifics aren’t entirely known.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
Best MacBook deals: Get an Air for $605 and save on M3 MacBook Pro
A MacBook Pro M2 sits on a wooden table with a nice bokeh background.

Apple has long been known to turn out some of the best laptops, with models like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro regularly being among the most sought-after laptops. It can actually be difficult to land some decent Apple deals, as the brand's popularity keeps many of its products from seeing the bargain bin. Right now, however, Apple has a lot of options among the best laptop deals. The original Apple Silicon MacBook Air is seeing some of its lowest prices ever, and there’s even some newer MacBook Pros discounted right now. Whether you’re in search of a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, reading onward you’ll find the best MacBook deals currently available.
Best MacBook Air (M1) deals

The Apple MacBook Air (M1) started a seismic shift for Apple being the first of its Airs to have an Apple-based processor. We took a look at the differences between the M2 and M1 and the M1 is still looking pretty great. It's also a touch nearer to affordable than anything else here. Fast yet fanless so it's silent to use, you gain an 18-hour battery life, a gorgeous looking 13.3-inch Retina display along with all the effortless style you'd expect from an Apple device. These laptops are best for students or those who want something stylish yet reasonably powerful to use on the move. Nowadays, deals are becoming a little harder to come by unless you're willing to consider a refurbished/renewed model.

Read more
The case for buying the M2 MacBook Air over the M3 model
The screen of the MacBook Air M2.

Apple's MacBook Air M2 recently stood at the top of our list of best laptops, and for good reason. It's incredibly well-built, exuding an elegance that few laptops can match. It's also plenty fast for productivity users, and its GPU is optimized for creators. Its keyboard, touchpad, and display are all top-notch.

Enter the MacBook Air M3, which (hint) took over the MacBook Air's place on that list. The upgraded chipset offers even faster performance, particularly in GPU-intensive apps, and the M3 model supports an additional external display (with the display closed). It's $100 more, but is that uptick in price justified? Let's dig in.
Specs and configurations

Read more
Why you should buy a MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook Air
The 14-inch MacBook Pro on a window sill.

There are plenty of reasons to buy a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook Pro. If you want a MacBook on a budget, you don't necessarily need the goodies that come with upgrading to the MacBook Pro.

That being said, I'm going to argue for spending a little more. In my experience, the MacBook Pro offers several distinct advantages that help justify a higher price, especially with the introduction of the more affordable MacBook Pro 14 with the base M3. If you can stretch your budget a bit, here's why I think you should buy a MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook Air.
Setting the stage: pricing

Read more