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Rumor: Apple looking into using carbon fiber in 'completely different' way than usual

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
A new rumor claims Apple has been working with a carbon fiber maker for years, in an effort to develop new ways of using the material to create a device's outside shell.

Following up one of its earlier reports, Japanese Apple blog Macotakara reported on Tuesday that while current devices are currently available, Apple is looking to make something "completely different" than the norm. The report suggests that Apple could weave the fiber in a unique way that would be unlike what other manufacturers have done to date.

According to the rumor, Apple has been heavily researching the use of carbon fiber in its devices for at least three years. In that timeframe, Apple is said to have worked closely with a Japanese company.

The same site reported last month that Apple had ordered a large number of parts made of carbon fiber. That was taken to suggest that the company could be planning to build a new product made of the durable-yet-lightweight material.

Patent 1


Apple's interest in carbon fiber has been previously detailed in a number of patent filings by the company, including one from last month that described carbon fiber housings for a new MacBook design. Another patent application from 2010 described how Apple might use carbon fiber to make a lighter and stronger iPad.

The back of the current iPad is made from a single billet of aluminum, which increases the weight but also greatly improves the rigidity of the device. Apple's new iPhone 5 is 20 percent lighter than its predecessor thanks in part to a change from glass to metal back.
post #2 of 49

I can't help but think if EdisonInsider posted an article about every type of material Edison tried to use as filament in the electric light bulb, there would be a lot of articles too.

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post #3 of 49

Carbon fiber cereal! Take that, Total!

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I can't help but think if EdisonInsider posted an article about every type of material Edison tried to use as filament in the electric light bulb, there would be a lot of articles too.

 

There's an EdisonInsider? What's the URL?

post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ai46 View Post

 

There's an EdisonInsider? What's the URL?

 

Sadly, the Edison rumors ended with his death.

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post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Carbon fiber cereal! Take that, Total!

 

Oh, please!

 

I've been telling everybody and his dog about how Apple's been secretly working on carbon fiber socks for years, but does anybody listen to me?

 

Noooooo...

post #7 of 49

My double-secret probation sources tell me Apple is looking at revolutionizing the flying disc market. Take that, Frisbee!

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post #8 of 49
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
Sadly, the Edison rumors ended with his death.

 

Light bulbs would never have used LEDs if Edison was still alive.

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Light bulbs would never have used LEDs if Edison was still alive.

 

You reckon they'd still be horse-drawn?

post #10 of 49

Carbon Fiber, imma let you finish but liquid metal...

 

Haven't heard any news or rumors of that material in a while. :(

post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

You reckon they'd still be horse-drawn?

 

They'd be known as "Solid-State Edisons".

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post #12 of 49
Originally Posted by GTR View Post
You reckon they'd still be horse-drawn?

 

That's silly!

Horses have two toes; they can't hold a pen!

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Light bulbs would never have used LEDs if Edison was still alive.

I think replacing "Edison" with say, another name we all know, would make you an EdisonInsider troll!
post #14 of 49

News about Apple and carbon fiber is like news about improved solar cells or batteries---year of smoke and no apparent fire.

 

Here's hoping that there's a bonfire out there that we just haven't seen yet.

post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That's silly!

Horses have two toes; they can't hold a pen!

 

Have you ever seen a horse try to use a Samsung Galaxy Note? It's a terrible sight.

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post #16 of 49

Carbon fiber for the redesigned iPhone 5, to substitute for anodized aluminum which shows scratches.

post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Carbon fiber for the redesigned iPhone 5, to substitute for anodized aluminum which shows scratches.

Or possibly carbon fiber robots, that repair and re-fill the scratches as they appear in real-time.
post #18 of 49
I'm sure Apple looked into it, I won't put any stock into rumors of any Apple CF-based products until Apple announces it.
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Have you ever seen a horse try to use a Samsung Galaxy Note? It's a terrible sight.

 

Don't they shoot them for that?

post #20 of 49

Whatever happened to good-ole Bakelite? (polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride - now that's a mouthful).

 

I can hear the Apple-haters already about delamination of iphones.

 

(Drum Roll Please):     "Delami-gate"      (has a nice ring to it, don't you think?)

 

Too bad they can't use the name Carbonite (which was used in encasing Han Solo), and which is now a data backup company.

 

Just found out they could use Carbomite (from one of my favorite Star Trek 1964 episodes  "The Carbomite Maneuver"). Close enough.


Edited by Bagman - 10/9/12 at 1:09pm
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

My double-secret probation sources tell me Apple is looking at revolutionizing the flying disc market. Take that, Frisbee!

 

Maybe a new carbon fiber sim ejection tool! It's necessary because it will reduce the next iPhone packaging weight by 0.001 grams.
post #22 of 49
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
Have you ever seen a horse try to use a Samsung Galaxy Note? It's a terrible sight.


Poor thing. But I suppose without a rein-tina display, he'd have to hold it closer than he'd like.


Originally Posted by GTR View Post
Or possibly carbon fiber robots, that repair and re-fill the scratches as they appear in real-time.

 

Nanomachines, crawling along the case of the iPhone, automatically fixing any damage… 

 

To put this great string of jokes aside, that's the future. The real future. And I hope to live to see it.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Sadly, the Edison rumors ended with his death.

Edison was a Capitalistic pig.

If he had his way and still alive, our phones would be single use so we would have to buy a new one every time they ran out of juice.

 

If Edison wasn't in the way, Tesla's inventions would have revolutionized the world and the "World of Tomorrow" that was featured at World Expos would have looked antique compared to his stuff.

post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Poor thing. But I suppose without a rein-tina display, he'd have to hold it closer than he'd like.

 

Nanomachines, crawling along the case of the iPhone, automatically fixing any damage… 

 

To put this great string of jokes aside, that's the future. The real future. And I hope to live to see it.

What happens when they get out of control........Infectious Apple nanites destroy civilization !!

post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

Edison was a Capitalistic pig.

If he had his way and still alive, our phones would be single use so we would have to buy a new one every time they ran out of juice.

 

If Edison wasn't in the way, Tesla's inventions would have revolutionized the world and the "World of Tomorrow" that was featured at World Expos would have looked antique compared to his stuff.

 

Yeah, I know. We'd probably also have time machines and star trek teleporters by now too if it weren't for that damned Capitalistic Pig Edison "in the way."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

You reckon they'd still be horse-drawn?

 

Edison was a proponent of electric cars, and in fact, built a practical and efficient prototype 100 years ago, but they'd rather name modern electric cars after Tesla. Go figure.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #26 of 49
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post
What happens when they get out of control........Infectious Apple nanites destroy civilization !!

 

You know, I've never really put much stock in the grey goo theory because the transmutation of matter is HARD. Really hard. Otherwise we'd all be driving solid gold Oldsmobiles powered by liquid helium. Heck, even making water is hard. Let's assume that the nanomachines can transmute nitrogen in the air into aluminum for the iPhone case. That's a big deal. It's a really big deal, because that's really hard. It take a lot of energy to do, and doing it in the scale needed to allow nanotech devices to use the product would be a spectacular accomplishment, because the work is really done at the Planck scale. The whole endeavor, really, is fanciful. Nitrogen to aluminum is too energy-wasteful to be meaningfully done, so unless these nanomachines are consciously given the material they're designed to transmute, they'll never self-replicate enough to cause problems. It's not like the remake of War of the Worlds where anything processed can be used as their fuel; that's not how it works. You could dump a cloud of sentient, malevolent nanomachines in a field, and unless the grass is made of tin, they're stuck.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

You know, I've never really put much stock in the grey goo theory because the transmutation of matter is HARD. Really hard. Otherwise we'd all be driving solid gold Oldsmobiles powered by liquid helium. Heck, even making water is hard. Let's assume that the nanomachines can transmute nitrogen in the air into aluminum for the iPhone case. That's a big deal. It's a really big deal, because that's really hard. It take a lot of energy to do, and doing it in the scale needed to allow nanotech devices to use the product would be a spectacular accomplishment, because the work is really done at the Planck scale. The whole endeavor, really, is fanciful. Nitrogen to aluminum is too energy-wasteful to be meaningfully done, so unless these nanomachines are consciously given the material they're designed to transmute, they'll never self-replicate enough to cause problems. It's not like the remake of War of the Worlds where anything processed can be used as their fuel; that's not how it works. You could dump a cloud of sentient, malevolent nanomachines in a field, and unless the grass is made of tin, they're stuck.

 

So you're saying Bill Joy was a panicky, joyless alarmist? :D

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post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I can't help but think if EdisonInsider posted an article about every type of material Edison tried to use as filament in the electric light bulb, there would be a lot of articles too.

 

1) Edison was a hack, and a thief who spit on people shoes for laughs. 

 

2) Apple has only ever used like three or maybe four materials for product in the entire time they've been making mobile devices. 

post #29 of 49

In case anyone's interested, the original patents they had on this basically implied that the fibre would be knitted or woven into custom shapes.  

 

In other words, instead of laying down flat sheets into a curved mould as everyone does, they were thinking of knitting a 3D shape for the sheet so that it fit better, looked better, had better strength and required less sanding and processing overall.  I don't know if it's practical at all or if it worked, but I know they did a lot of extensive testing just around the time when the first iPad came out.  

post #30 of 49

Speaking of Tesla, the Oatmeal has an entertaining and informative comic about him here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla
 

post #31 of 49
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
2) Apple has only ever used like three or maybe four materials for product in the entire time they've been making mobile devices. 

 

Depends on your definition of 'material'.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #32 of 49
So carbon fiber doesn't scratch?
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So carbon fiber doesn't scratch?

 

My understanding is that the scratch resistance of carbon fiber is very similar to the material used for the back of the iPhone 3G.  It's just cloth covered with resin, not unlike fiberglass, so the scratch resistance is limited to the strength of the resin.

post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Edison was a proponent of electric cars, and in fact, built a practical and efficient prototype 100 years ago, but they'd rather name modern electric cars after Tesla. Go figure.

Edison probably would have been ruled out on trademark considerations. Naming a product or a company often has considerations not stated in the official story.
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Apple has only ever used like three or maybe four materials for product in the entire time they've been making mobile devices. 

Correct.

1. Metal
2. Glass
3. Plastic
4. Underage Chinese workers.
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Depends on your definition of 'material'.

 

Duh.  For the back casing as per the discussion.  

post #37 of 49
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
Duh.  For the back casing as per the discussion.  

 

For the cases, you're right; it's four.

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #38 of 49
I did read an interesting article the other day about a company that developed a new version of carbon fibre using a liquid plastic as a setting and bonding agent instead of traditional resin. This new process allows carbon fibre to be used more in a standard molding process than the baking that current carbon fibre requires. Also it creates much lighter parts, up to 20% as often the resin is the heaviest part of CF manufacture. The parts are just as strong and far more intricate shapes can be created. I wonder if Apple is on to this ?
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

Oh, please!

 

I've been telling everybody and his dog about how Apple's been secretly working on carbon fiber socks for years, but does anybody listen to me?

 

Noooooo...

 

No it's for the upcoming flying cars that will link into iOS 6 maps, when the true purpose of flyover will be revealed.

 

 

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post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

No it's for the upcoming flying cars that will link into iOS 6 maps, when the true purpose of flyover will be revealed.

 

 

 Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, is that you?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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