Apple May Use Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Future iPhone, iPad Devices

According to a patent application from Apple published by the US Patent and Trademark Office recently, the next-generation iPads, iPhones and iPods could be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The Cupertino-based company is not only looking to boost performance significantly, but is also looking to use more environmentally friendly alternatives to the batteries found in current devices and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, Patently Apple reveals.

Apple accepts that the task of designing devices powered by other energy sources than the traditional ones is difficult. "It is extremely challenging to design hydrogen fuel cell systems which are sufficiently portable and cost-effective to be used with portable electronic devices," the patent document explains.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells could lead to smaller, lighter batteries which may even last for weeks without requiring refueling. This suounds very impressive, particularly for the owners of iPhone 4S handsets who are still experiencing battery issues, complaining that Apple's latest handset only lasts for about a day.

Apple has been looking at this idea since 2010 and in other fields, such as the automotive industry, they have already found solutions, with Honda, for example, having introduced some hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.