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  • Is Apple Moving Forward with iPhone Solar Panels?


    There has been talk for some time that, in the wake of Apple's stated goal of "going green," radical changes could soon be made with regard to how some of Apple's most popular products are produced. Among such potential ideas broached is the possibility of embedding future generations of the iPhone and iPod Touch with solar panels.

    It's a plausible scenario (down the road, at least) for Apple's popular mobile devices, but hopes may be way ahead of the actual reality of solar panels finding a home on the iPhone or iPod. Today in the Baltimore Sun, however, hopes were given another opportunity to graze freely like cattle in an open pasture.

    One of the latest patent applications from Apple delves deeper into the company's experimentation with integrating solar power cells with their portable devices, including the iPod and iPhone models. The patent -- titled "power management circuitry and solar cells" -- describes a system for a portable device use of solar power to either power the device fully, or assist in providing energy to a battery.
    While the use of small solar panels to charge portable devices is far from revolutionary, a potential decision by Apple to use them could, in fact, be the start of a solar powered revolution that could quickly spread across the mobile landscape. Mom-and-pop outfits aiming to implement solar powered mobile components are all fine and good, but nothing "earth-rattling" will transpire in the mobile phone industry until a major presence such as Apple puts the solar power wheel in motion.

    The patent appears to be an advancement of a previous patent that Apple filed in 2008, which was unearthed by MacRumors and which described how the solar panels would be configured on portable devices. What's interesting about this patent is how Apple is integrating "boost" circuitry within the devices so that it can work together with the solar cells to generate power, even when power is already low or nonexistent or if some of the solar cells are obstructed.
    Although it's highly unlikely that Apple will introduce any solar powered additions to their product line at next week's event, some analysts believe that Apple could be a leader in solar powered mobile devices by the end of 2012, assuming, of course, that Cupertino backs up their talk with some action.

    Image via Solar Enviro Hub
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Is Apple Moving Forward with iPhone Solar Panels? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      that would be awesome
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      that would b nice at times

      and if it looks nice ill take it
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post

      by the end of 2012, assuming, of course, that that the world is still around.
      fixed
    1. mmaroney1's Avatar
      mmaroney1 -
      If it wasn't terribly delicate and expensive, I'd use it for sure.
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      Lol then they could be the first company to brag infinite battery life on an iPod shuffle or maybe even the nano.
    1. gthugballin's Avatar
      gthugballin -
      Is Apple sure that Nokia hasn't patented this yet????????????????

      I would hate to see apple get sued for "using the sun to create energy" "converting light into electricity" "making something good that will sell" lol i'm sure Nokia has all of the fore mentioned statements patented. LOL
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      That wouldnt make sense. Don;t you all remember the temperature warnings on the iphone? WOuld exposing your i-device to extreme heat/sun be wise? I think not. I can understand solar chargers, but not solar panels on the actual phone. The time it would take to get a significant charge on an iPhone or iPod touch from solar panels(which would be extremely small) would most likely damage the phone from heat exposure. Just my thought...
    1. gthugballin's Avatar
      gthugballin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      That wouldnt make sense. Don;t you all remember the temperature warnings on the iphone? WOuld exposing your i-device to extreme heat/sun be wise? I think not. I can understand solar chargers, but not solar panels on the actual phone. The time it would take to get a significant charge on an iPhone or iPod touch from solar panels(which would be extremely small) would most likely damage the phone from heat exposure. Just my thought...
      Well if apple builds the phones out of the same material they used to build the spaceship in "Sunshine" then I think the iphones will be fine (Sunshine is a movie where people took a ship to the sun and dropped a huge bomb in it to keep it alive) Time for apple to take us into the Future once more !! WOOO

      BTW: I agree with you Melech ^__^
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Not if it charges wherever there is light. Check out the Samsung Blue Earth.

      Samsung Blue Earth (unlocked) Smartphone reviews - CNET Reviews
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      ^Check out the reviews on that baby, most people don't like it
    1. evolasme's Avatar
      evolasme -
      I friend of mine has a solar sleeve for his iPhone it's actually pretty useful. 50 euros on eBay
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Great idea, but I hope it does not require solar power to run the devices.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by plcrules View Post
      that would b nice at times

      and if it looks nice ill take it
      Nice sig! lol.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      It wouldn't go over well here in clouds-burgh.....lol
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Hell yeah.
    1. MrNoSox's Avatar
      MrNoSox -
      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post
      by the end of 2012, assuming, of course, that the world is still around.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tiger92 View Post
      fixed
      LOVE it!
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Good idea but a solar panel on the iPhone just wouldn't be big enough to catch the suns rays efficiently. If it was on the back, you wouldn't be able to use your phone.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      hmmmm.....where have i heard this before?


      01-05-2010, 04:41 PM
      Replies: 11
      Ekotribe Touts Solar Powered iPod Charger
      Views: 1,680
      Posted By rhekt
      apple needs to integrate a solar cell into the...

      apple needs to integrate a solar cell into the screen of the iphone. just like how a calculator has. not very difficult.

      Read more about apple by modmyi.com
    1. yehiamorsi's Avatar
      yehiamorsi -
      Funny Chuck noris !!!!!!
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      I'm sure having a solar panel on my iPhone will do a lot of good. It's either in my pocket or against my face, and usually indoors. The sun isn't shining too brightly inside my pocket, nor against my face, and not inside, unless I hold the phone up to a south-facing window.