Carbon Fiber iPad?

USPTOAppleInsiderEngadget: Apple patent application #20100289390 mentions fiber-in-matrix material to house an electronic device.

A housing for an electronic device or other object formed from a fiber-in-matrix material. A layered fiber-in-matrix type material, such as CFRP, may be used. A spine made from CFRP may support, and be attached to, a CFRP skin. The CFRP spine may be a unitary frame that imparts strength and rigidity to the overall housing and also form at least some of the corners of the frame. In some embodiments, the spine may be rectangular. The skin may be formed from multiple layers of CFRP type material stacked atop each other. Each layer may be cut at one or more corners to expose at least a portion of the layer beneath. The skin may thus have an overall cross shape, such that each arm of the cross may be wrapped around a different side of the aforementioned rectangular spine.

What this means is that Apple is considering the use of carbon fiber material, which is lighter and more durable than the company’s favorite material at the time: aluminum. Carbon fiber is brittle so using layers and running the fibers in different directions would help.

The iPad 2.0 is certainly in the works at Apple. One major concern about the iPad is, despite it weighing just 1.5 pounds, the weight. Because a single billet of aluminum is used for the rear case of the current iPad there is much potential to reduce the weight by going with a thinner aluminum back but reinforced with carbon fiber to keep or enhance rigidity.