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Solar iPhone a Patented Possibility

  • Jan 17, 2011
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Solar iPhoneOn Leap Year Day this year (February 29) I had talked about a new solar iPhone charger that was on the market from Freeloader. Now, Apple has taken a leap of its own by filing for a patent for a solar iPhone 2.0.

Of course photovoltaic cells on small portable devices have been around for a while on calculators, watches and even toys. But, the iPhone is a power-hungry device, as are all cell phones that require a lot of energy just to operate. In fact, Forbes is reporting it would take up to 1 million wrist watches with solar cells to power one solar iPhone.

The most likely scenario that Apple is hoping for is twofold. First, would be a small panel of photovoltaic cells on the iPhone that would provide some supplementary electric charge. Two, Apple is thinking way ahead and imagining an iPhone five years in the future that can be fully powered by solar given a few breakthroughs in photovoltaic technology along the way.

Knowing that some people are already using solar iPhone chargers, Apple may just be wanting to give users an assist if they temporarily misplace their charger and need to make an important phone call or two just to get by. The technology isn’t quite there yet but this does open up some interesting possibilities for the future.

For instance, will we be seeing some geeky dude with glasses wandering around from sunlight to shade, talking on the solar iPhone saying, “Can you hear me now?”



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January 17, 2011
That's amazing!  Yes, the Freeloader Portable Solar Powered Charger is awesome.  It would be even more awesome, though, if the iPhone could charge through solar power on its own :D  It's coincidental that I was just musing about wanting a solar powered iPhone the other day without knowing about these developments.  Thanks so much for sharing!
January 21, 2011
I agree that this is the way solar energy is moving. In the future, iPhones, Ipods, iPads, laptops, and every gizmo, gadget and thingymabob under the sun will be powered by solar. Development in the next 5 years will be incredible.
About the reviewer
Kevin Green ()
Member Since: Jan 12, 2011
Last Login: Jun 22, 2011 10:40 PM UTC
About this topic


The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was introduced on January 9, 2007.

An iPhone functions as a video camera, camera phone with text messaging and visual voicemail, a portable media player, and an Internet client with e-mail, web browsing, and both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The user interface is built around the device's multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard rather than a physical one. Third-party as well as Apple applications are available from the App Store, which launched in mid-2008 and now has well over 300,000 "apps" approved by Apple. These apps have diverse functionalities, including games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, security and advertising for television shows, films, and celebrities.

There are four generations of iPhone models, and they were accompanied by four major releases of iOS (formerly iPhone OS). The original iPhone was a GSM phone which established design precedents like screen size and button placement that have persisted through all models. The iPhone 3G added 3G cellular network capabilities and A-GPS location. The iPhone 3GS added a compass, faster processor, and higher resolution camera, including video. The iPhone 4 has two cameras for FaceTime video calling and a higher-resolution display. It was released on June 24, 2010. On January 11, 2011, Apple and Verizon together launched a CDMA2000 compatible iPhone 4 ...

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