Some buyers were upset with the iPhone 5’s aluminum body and its tendency to get scratched, but future iPhone models may not have the same problem, according to some reports speculating that carbon fiber could be in the device’s future.
ExtremeTech reported on the viability of carbon fiber casing for the iPhone 5. Carbon fiber is both strong and lightweight, making it a popular strengthener for bike frames, race cars and airplanes. It also has low thermal conductivity, which is a plus for uses such as camera tripods, which need all-weather functionality, but less effective for a phone or computer case, which needs to serve as a heatsink, ExtremeTech noted.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is also more prone to shattering than aluminum or steel, despite its strength, ExtremeTech noted. Nonetheless, there are a range of carbon fiber iPhone cases available, as well as a carbon fiber-reinforced Android phone from Tag Heuer. Mashable reported the iPad 4 may incorporate carbon fiber parts, based on Apple’s recent orders from suppliers.