News, , , , , , , , , , — July 27, 2011 13:09 — 2 Comments

Apple look at solar power to charge iPhones

In future not only will you be able to reach for the sky artistically with your brand spanking new iPhone to capture that ace scene on your camera – you will also be able to charge your device via solar energy.

Apple intelligence website 9to5mac.com, who are usually on the money with inside news from Cupertino HQ, are reporting that Apple, and other companies including Samsung, is currently evaluating the use of solar panels for future products.

Even more exciting, gushed the geeks, is that Apple is reportedly considering the “inclusion of Taiwan-based solar firms in [its] supply chain.”

This means that Apple is not only “evaluating” if they will make products with solar panels, but is already thinking about who will make the panels.

French company Wypsis is one of the companies producing solar panels for mobile devices. Its president Ludovic Deblois tells us what to expect: “The technology will fully charge a typical cell phone battery in 6 hours of outdoor light, but it would take longer indoors to fully juice a handset. With the second-generation technology that will arrive next year, you’ll have enough juice for 30 minutes of talk after just an hour of charging. While those times seem long in comparison to typical AC or USB charging, this is all done with light and occurs seamlessly while you use the phone. Plus, the phone is always sipping energy–unless it’s in a pocket or purse,” he says.

The only dark cloud in this latest development is the miniature solar panels need more development before they can actually be deployed in the devices.

Samsung’s solar-powered netbook adopts a unique sized solar cell, added industry sources, and the number of solar cells used is less than rooftop solar systems, hence it is unlikely for solar-powered consumer products to form a solid market in the short term.

From as early as 2009 Apple has shown interest in the solar panel technology when it filed a patent in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for mobile products that can be powered by solar panels.

Apple was not specific, in this patent, about which mobile devices – but hinted at anything from one of their notebooks to an iPod or iPhone, claims 9to5mac.com.

The site also quotes a report from the well-sourced Wall Street Journal earlier this month that Apple is developing a “new way of charging” for the sixth-generation iPhone, launching in 2012.

Although this “new way of charging” is likely related to some sort of inductive charging system, as previously discussed, it is still interesting to see that Apple is exploring multiple ways to charge their devices.

All very well, but will the solar panels work while filming on the iPhone during a wet afternoon in Croydon?

We’ll soon see, but if not you can always plug your iphone into a bus shelter – providing it hasn’t been vandalised!

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

  • http://quinsa.net/es/index.php/member/388923/ garden lighting

    I never thought about it that way, I guess I will have to check into this more now.

  • http://www.sunbeltsolarenergy.com/ Luigi Fulk

    Hmm, well we have solar panels on our pool, but he have an olympic sized pool. Pro-tip, if you have a smaller pool its a gigantic waste of money. You won’t get that much out of it anyway, I would stick to the old solar canvas cover. solar panels Venice FL

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