A weak battery is today's smartphone's biggest flaw. As manufacturers focus on creating thinner, slimmer, more eye-appealing devices, battery life seems to suffer and the efforts to find a solution to this problem usually revolved around more energy-efficient components.
However, Apple might have found a solution, as it submitted a patent application for a fuel cell system which could power its devices “for days or even weeks”.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we’re looking at a "portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device", which could use several different energy sources to provide power.
It appears to be aimed at MacBook devices rather than smartphones, and it seems as recharging it was not planned. Once it’s used, it needs to be replaced.
Apple appears to be keeping its options open in terms of the exact fuel to be used in the system.
The document says: "The fuel source comprises at least one of: sodium borohydride and water; sodium silicate and water; lithium hydride and water; magnesium hydride and water; lithium borohydride and water; lithium aluminum hydride and water; aluminum hydride; an amine borane complex; a hydrocarbon; lithium aluminum hydride; magnesium borohydride; a magnesium borohydride-amine complex; compressed hydrogen gas; and liquid hydrogen."
It is also worth mentioning that only a tiny portion of Apple’s patents make it into actual products, and most of them are patented in order to stop the competing companies from getting their hands on certain technologies.
This one, however, is something I’d love to see in action.