Apple has brought in a carbon fibre expert, fuelling speculation that future iPads, iPhones and MacBooks could be encased in the strong, lightweight material.

New Senior Composites Engineer Kevin Kenney recently signed on with Apple after spending 14 years as President and CEO of Kestrel Bicycles where he pioneered the building of carbon fibre frames.

There has been speculation for years that Apple hopes to replace the aluminium and stainless steel casings with carbon fibre and this is the clearest indication yet that those plans could become a reality.

Back in 2009 Apple filed a patent for a carbon fibre casing with then-consultant Kenney's name attached. Now he's officially on-board in a full time capacity can we expect to see more rapid progress?

iPad 3?

Reports last year suggested that Apple had created an iPad 2 prototype, while rumours down the years have intimated that Apple was has looked into making the material more aesthetically pleasing.

While it might be a little bit early to expect a carbon fibre Apple iPad 3 in the next twelve months, it seems fair to expect some movement in this area in the next couple of years.