iPhone black = solar cells on back?

carsly

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Jun 2, 2008
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Solar cells on the back would provide an easily accessible power source for keeping the battery topped off (or at least from draining as fast with 3G) and would fit with the rumors of the all-black casing. It would also allow Apple to heave the innovation mantle even higher and force the copycats to scramble. BTW, it would also be completely unexpected and would therefore fit the Jobs MO.
 

WatersWest

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Apr 10, 2008
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I highly doubt it, but I suppose you never know. I think the patent filing was too recent in time, not to mention that the patent was for solar panels that would be integrated into the screen itself, not on the back. IMHO, it wouldn't really make any sense for the solar panels to be on the back, because they wouldn't really get enough exposure. Who knows, we'll see.
 

Muero

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Right now, solar cell efficiency is improving, but having just 8 square inches of area to collect sunlight would be a very small area. It just wouldn't be able to draw enough power to make it worthwhile. I also think that there would have to be more electronics, which wouldn't fit nicely into a slim cell phone. I also agree that the patent filing is probably too recent to incorporate it into products this year.
 

xintelinsanex

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The idea is nice and innovative, but in all honesty, the phone will spend too much time in a pocket, carrying case, or someone's purse. It's not practical for the added cost. However, with the solar cells, it would increase battery life, not a lot, just a little, but more than before.
 

burnsaa

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I really dont see much to this why would you put it on the back of the phone right now the only time I have the phone out of my pocket is when I'm using it and when I'm using it my hand is covering the back. Also I live in the Seattle area so really it would only be useful like 3 months out of the year the rest of the time its cloudy. :(
 

carsly

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I really dont see much to this why would you put it on the back of the phone right now the only time I have the phone out of my pocket is when I'm using it and when I'm using it my hand is covering the back. Also I live in the Seattle area so really it would only be useful like 3 months out of the year the rest of the time its cloudy. :(

Apple patent aside, the cheaper solar cells would probably not be translucent so you could not have them on the display side of the device. Therefore, placing them on the flat, broad back makes the most sense. If you're at work or at home, just place face down and it will generate some charge from the ambient light.
 

patcom8

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YEAH SOLAR CELLS! but i really dobut we will see this on the phone. if anyone knows the background on Solar cells that are portable they take a decent amount of space. Also the problem with placing the panel on the back of the phone is that there is very little exposure to sunlight. I like the idea of it but i seriously doubt we'll see it.
 

neolite

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Ya, I don't think it's happening any time soon. The power limitation is one thing, but a slow trickle charge would be fine to get around that. The biggest issue is the fact that to get the most benefit, you'd need actual sunlight, not incandescent. Also, it won't work in your pocket ;)
 

HymerSchmidt

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I'm glad to see there are some futurists on here, but I don't think there is much reality -- as far as the present is concerned -- behind this. Like many are saying, the back has very little DIRECT exposure to sunlight, and photovoltaics are at the toddler stage.

It will come, and I want to see it(esp. because I have some paper in solar), but we won't see it this soon. Give us 5 years to improve efficiency; the silicon revolution has a lot of life left.
 

burnsaa

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Ok so instead of solar cells how about some type of friction cells that would be on the back that way when its in your pocket and your walking around it takes that friction and turns it into energy to charge the battery. Or if your battery is running low then just rub the back against your jeans. I think this is just about as likely as us seeing solar cells on the next two or three versions of the iPhone.
 

Ahambone

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I'm just getting around to reading this thread; solar cells on the back of the iPhone in order to help out with battery life would be an AMAZING addition. I think that it will eventually happen (what with the nation becoming greener), and while I'd love it to happen *right now*, I don't think we're there quite yet.
 

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