The iPhone 6 may be linked to a new innovative and unique development. Several sources, including Business Today’s website, have found significant evidence that Apple is rumored to be working to implement a Sapphire solar power screen for the iPhone 6.
In a patent filed in September 2013, Apple described the new technology as an “integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” In effect, any device with the technology implemented would use electrodes to collect solar energy which would then be converted to power the device’s battery. In addition, the solar cell “stack-ups” would also be used for sensing on the touch sensor array.
After an initial issue with a necessary component needed to convert the solar power to energy to be directly used by the device’s battery, Apple hired a technician specifically to eliminate the need for a “boost converter.” The boost converter was necessary to allow the solar cell to convert solar energy directly into the device’s battery.
By October 2013, Apple solved the issue surrounding the boost converter. This led to a new patent filed by the company at that point. The new patent, described the technology as simply a “new solar touch screen patent.”
Apple now had the ability to allow for solar power directly to the iPhone 6’s battery without the need for a boost converter. In addition, without the need for a boost converter, the company now rumored to have not only a sapphire screen for the iPhone 6 but the ability to expand the feature to other devices, such as the MacBook, iPad and the iPad Touch.
After working out the kinks in their new technology, Apple partnered with GT Advanced Technologies to open a Sapphire Materials facility in Mesa, AZ. Many sources have taken this step as a clear indication that the future of Apple’s touch screen devices will be tied to solar power via Sapphire glass screens.
This will not be welcome news to Apple’s many competitors. The advent of a solar powered screen and a longer battery life may be a game changer for consumers looking to get the best battery life for their buck. With relatively the same features as Samsung and other competitor’s smart phones, Apple may be on to something with a unique promise for sustainable, longer battery life.
Innovative, unique additions to upcoming devices are essential to Apple’s survival, since competition is so fierce in the smart phone industry. In 2013, Apple lost the smart phone battle to Samsung, who nearly doubled Apple’s sales for the year. If solar cells are incorporated into Apple’s iPhone 6, there is a good chance the company can level the playing field and possibly even overtake Samsung’s sales numbers.
A lot will depend on the cost involved in the new technology. If Apple can incorporate the promise of a longer battery life at relatively the same cost as Samsung’s new smart phone, the battle will be close. However, if Apple pushes the cost of the iPhone 6 into the solar system, the time and money spent to add the new technology may well be in vain. If the rumors are true Apple’s iPhone 6 may have a solar power sapphire screen.
Opinion by Katherine Merrill