Apple Considers Solar iPods And iPhones

FILED UNDER: Apple, iPod

Apple has lodged new patent applications that reveal the company is thinking about using solar power for future portable devices such as iPods and iPhones.

Solar-powered chargers have been around for a while, but are cumbersome and require lots of sunlight. Integrating solar panels directly into portable devices might not replace chargers completely, but could dramatically extend the period between top-ups.

According to MacRumors, who has seen one of the patent applications, Apple is planning to stick the solar panels behind the LCD display instead of attaching them to the outside.

This approach would protect the panels from damage as well as maintain Apple’s design work.

The solar panel would absorb any ambient light that passes through the LCD screen which eliminates the need for any additional footprint on the devices.

The technology, if it works, could be used on virtually any portable device including iPods, iPhones, MacBooks, PowerBooks and any future Apple creations.

Apple is not the first to explore this technology. Motorola filed a patent on the same technique in 2001. The legal situation is uncertain.


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