Apple iPhone 5: Heading for solar power?

Earlier today we told how Apple’s operating system, iOS 4.3, had been released in beta form to developers and then spoke of what new features and additions that could mean for the next iPhone, the iPhone 5.

Now we have heard further news of another possible addition to an iPhone 5 from Desire Athos over on ITProPortal. It appears that Apple has been granted a patent which in future could enable Apple portable devices to use solar power. This would not replace existing batteries though, but would act as a supplement.

Whether this would come as early as the iPhone 5, thought to be due in the first half of this year, is not yet confirmed but it would of course be a possibility. A solar-powered device would work by way of a voltage converter that would charge the onboard battery from the sun and could be implemented via a back cover while the phone was on a flat surface or docking station. It would also be able to be used via ambient light and not necessarily direct sunlight.

Chloe Albanesius over on PCMag has also looked into the Apple patent for solar-powered devices and notes that the patent application reads, “As demands for the power of the handheld computing devices increase, it becomes more important to provide stable power to the devices.” This is certainly an interesting addition to the Apple stable and may have come too late for the iPhone 5 or iPad 2 but of course it’s too soon to say.

What do you think of the possibility of having a solar-powered iPhone 5? We’d be interested to hear from you so please do send in your comments.

  • chris

    that would be nice

  • Jacob W

    It depends on how well solar cell cigs are integrated into the glass structure. It’s something that has been worked on for the last couple of years by several companies. DuPont being one of them. At least for ceramics.

    I’m hoping the technology is in the iPhone 5 but we might need to wait another year until it’s matured.

    But it’s one of the reasons why Apple chose to use glass in the iphone’s back. And could also be imbedded into the front screen too.

  • http://www.daddyville.Posterous.com Sean Casey

    Sounds Great! It actually sounds as though we might soon be using dual-core (or above at some point) processors in our handhelds in the near future. :) This is exciting to say the least.

  • Yiddo

    If it doesn’t add to the weight or thickness and adds atleast 15% or more power per day then I’m up for that…… Increase the memory 128gb and screen size 4.3 inch

  • Soekratis

    It would be a perfect device use and to be with all the time knowing that it will constantly charge and you won’t run out of juice. What a perfect solution for smartphones that demands power.

  • Anonymous

    If they could make it thinner and the screen bigger too that would be so cool! It would be the perfect device I know I would buy it!

  • Darwin

    I use remote battery for iPhone when back-packing. One has a solar system, but does not work properly using light, only power. I am looking forward to have the solar powering on the phone.