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Heirs to iPhone 5, iPad 2 To Feature Solar Panels?

Apple may be looking at putting solar panels in future iPhone handsets and iPad tablets in order to supplement the existing, traditional Lithium-ion batteries.

Nuying Huang & Jackie Chang, writing for Digitimes, say that both Apple and Samsung have been "evaluating" the market for solar powered consumer products and may be looking at bringing in Taiwanese firms that deal with solar technology.

The article points out though that this market is still a niche one and may take a longer time to develop. Solar panels will need to become more efficient (which hovers at around eight per cent), less expensive to produce, become thinner and most importantly, manufacturers should be able to mass produce it.

Apple has already filed a few patents related to solar powred products and it is also possible that the forthcoming iPhone 5 may come with wireless magnetic charging.

Interestingly, the news comes as an Irish firm, Solarprint, is about to bring the first commercial printable solar panels to the market, according to Siliconrepublic, using DSSC (dye sensitised solar cells).

We suspect however that Apple may develop an iPad or iPhone casing or sleeve that can power or charge the iDevice seamlessly through wireless technology.