Is Apple Working on a Solar-Powered iWatch?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be developing an iWatch that can be powered through solar panels or charged wirelessly via magnetic induction, reported an unnamed insider source cited by the New York Times. Per the New York Times’ source, Apple’s long-rumored iWatch may feature a curved glass screen that could also include a layer of solar cells that would allow the device to derive power from sunlight.
Another possibility is that the iWatch will include a wireless charging station that uses magnetic induction to recharge the battery. However, while companies like Nokia (NYSE:NOK) already use a similar magnetic induction technology for some of its smartphones, the source noted that the solar technology being investigated by Apple is likely still years away from being ready for market.
On the other hand, at least one industry watcher believes that Apple has already developed a solar-charging technology for the next iPhone model. Seeking Alpha’s Matt Margolis recently made a compelling argument that Apple had outfitted the GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ:GTAT) sapphire plant in Arizona to manufacture a sapphire-covered iPhone that will include a thin layer of solar cells under the glass. It should also be noted that Apple already holds a patent for a power management system that allows solar-charging technology to be incorporated into mobile products without increasing the overall size of the devices. Apple also holds patents for several other solar-related technologies that could potentially be used for an iWatch or iPhone.
Another potential iWatch battery technology that Apple has investigated involves charging a battery through movement, reports the New York Times. For example, the swinging motion of a person’s arm while they are walking could activate an internal charging mechanism that harnesses kinetic energy.