A recent Apple hire has 9 to 5 Mac speculating that the company may be mulling a switch to carbon fiber composites, moving away from the glass and aluminum aesthetic.

Kevin Kenney comes to Apple from Kestrel Bicycles, where he was president and chief executive. According to the report, Kenney has been consulting with Apple for years about using carbon fiber. The company filed a back-panel patent with Kenney’s name on it in 2009.

Of course, patents — and even hires — don’t always spell sure or immediate developments. There has been chatter before about carbon-fiber Apple devices to make them lighter, and Apple is rumored to be considering a switch from the glass-backed iPhone down the line.

In January, a group of iPhone 4 owners filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple after the glass on their phones shattered when dropped from a low height. They argued that the company was making misleading claims about the strength and durability of the phone’s glass back.

What do you think about carbon-fiber Apple devices?

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