New Solar Powered iPhone?

The iPhone is by far the most overhyped consumer product in a very long time. Its hard to believe it was just one year ago that Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, went on stage and introduced the little miracle to the world. Remember the long lines of people sleeping outside to get their hands on a $400 cell phone? Well get ready because it looks like iPhone 2.0 is on the horizon.

Monday, June 9th at 10 AM (PST), Jobs will take the stage in San Francisco to address the loyal Apple developers and unveil the company's newest creations. Among the array of shiny gadgets expected to show up on the Moscone West stage in San Francisco is an updated iPhone with a faster internet connection, GPS, video conferencing and the ability to charge its own battery using solar power.

Rumors about the new iPhone's solar power capability started spreading when a patent application from Apple was uncovered that showed detailed drawings and descriptions of a mobile device with a layer of solar panels underlaid beneath an iPhone-like screen. You can view the patent HERE.

Apple would not be the first company to experiment with the idea of using solar panels to charge the batteries of gadgets. There are many consumer products that integrate this idea. There is the solar powered backpack that has solar panels on the back and power adapters inside so you can utilize the sun's rays to charge your gadgets while you're walking around outside. There is also the iSun, solar powered cell phone charger that connects to your cell phone and charges its battery using solar power. 

The problem with a lot of these solar powered chargers is that they are expensive and not very convenient to carry around. If Apple could effectively integrate the solar panels directly into the iPhone's screen, they could skip the middleman and allow users to charge their phones quickly by setting it on a window sill. 

Of course, solar powered phones will still have to rely on wall outlets for most of their battery charges. But if Apple combined its gifts in simplicity and design to create an iPhone that could partially rely on both solar and traditional electricity, it would be a promising sign of things to come. 

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