The latest rumor to come out of Cupertino is that Apple are spearheading the move towards consumer products that come equipped with solar cells. Last week DigiTimes reported that both Apple and Samsung were considering solar and that they had been in talks with a number of solar companies in Taiwan about the use of the technology in their products. It was added that it would be quite some time still before these products came to market because things were still in a development stage at this point.
Taiwanese based solar cell companies believe that niche markets such as consumer digital products will need a greater length of time to develop compared with traditional solar cell items. This might explain why Apple has not yet brought one to market despite having in place a patent application all the way back in 2008 for a solar cell underneath the screen of a mobile device. Another, more recent patent was for a solar cell designed into the surface of an ipod or ipod-like product which integrated a power management block that combined battery and solar power.
Rumors of forthcoming solar products have been given extra credence ever since the Wall Street Journal wrote that Apple has been developing a ‘new way of charging’ the iphone 5. Industry experts have been feverishly speculating that this new form might be a wireless induction charge, but there is, as yet, no evidence of that and it may well be that solar power is the next big thing in powering future Apple devices.