iPad 2 to go carbon fiber. Maybe. (See footnote.)

Daring Fireball's John Gruber has added some carefully hedged speculation about the iPad 2 going carbon fiber to the mix:

I could publish things I’m only half-sure about, like the iPad 2 switching from aluminum to a lightweight high-strength carbon fiber body, but I don’t, because I’m only half-sure and I’ve only heard about it from second-hand sources who themselves are unsure about it. And even if I were to off-handedly mention such speculation, I’d do so in a footnote and take pains to emphasize the uncertain nature of the information and the second-hand status of the sources thereof.

He also weighed in on some of the back and forth iPad 2 rumors, saying the hi-res display was never on the table and wagering SD wasn't either, so they couldn't have been "cut".

Given that the glass makes up so much of the weight and the batteries won't be getting lighter any time soon, would switching to carbon fiber really make enough of a difference that Apple would consider it? Or is just the ability to say "the lightest iPad ever" inc

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPad 2 to go carbon fiber. Maybe. (See footnote.)


Carbon fiber is really expensive compared to aluminum. And, for that small of an area, it wouldn't make large enough of a difference

Agree. Also aluminum matches the rest of the product line "look" that they have while CF would be a complete departure. If they were doing something like this I am guessing we would have heard rumors about it before now as well.

Gruber's problem isn't rumor reporting (see segment in most recent "The Talk Show" re: macrumors) but that engadget was too proud to admit they got bad information. And I agree with him. When I first read that post last night, it was laughably bad, claiming that there had been an 'eleventh hour' switch to iPad 2 hardware-- not that they had reported it wrong.
Guess @Lessien was right. People will be reporting on Gruber's footnote... will be interesting to see if that speculation is confirmed.

That's obviously how they are going to reduce the weight of the "glass". Liquid metal is just a fancy term for amorphous structured metal. And since glass is an amorphous material, it seems obvious to me that they will be replacing the glass with transparent aluminum. ;)

that would be a step backwards from the green route they're trying to go, would be a massive fail. everyone loves the aluminum bodies.

I'm hoping that they head to something other than the aluminum. Is it classy? Yes. Is it efficient? No. Carbon fiber would be a cost bump, but would also be a nice touch. So would some LiquidMetal. I really hope Apple is planning on leveraging that technology more than just pigeonholing it to battery applications. I can envision an iPad made of primarily LiquidMetal components, decreasing the weight of the iPad significantly, while also retaining strength, durability, resistance, and battery life. That would be fantastic.

I've had a Zagg "LEATHERskin" on my iPad for some time now -- and while it obviously doesn't make the iPad any lighter, it sure makes it easier to grip, plus it doesn't spin on a hard surface or make loud noises when you put it down. I agree the aluminum back looks good but is not very practical.

I wouldn't mind the carbon fiber at all but I don't see it happening if only because of the disparity with the rest of Apple's products and Apple is nothing if not aesthetically conscious.

Has Apple ever used carbon fiber? I have a CF case on my iPhone and I love it but I am glad it's not CF underneath.