A lot has been made recently of Apple’s obsession with sapphire, but one analyst believes Apple may be on to something much bigger than ultra durable display glass. He connected the dots and believes Apple could introduce solar charging to its portable devices in the very near future.
Matt Margolis of Seeking Alpha points to several key clues, including multiple patents for embedding solar technology into the display of a mobile phone. One such patent posits a new method that would make it possible to add charging capabilities without greatly increasing the overall thickness of the device. Margolis also notes that Apple’s new Mesa, Arizona plant could be at the center of this solar revolution.
Not only have job postings for the site called for engineers with experience with thin film transistors, but they also make mention of familiarity with solar tech. Another job posting makes mention of engineers that would develop new processes related to “scribing” and “PVD coating,” which describe techniques that could be used to coat a display surface with solar-sensitive materials with advanced lasers.
Did we mention that Apple will invest big in lasers in 2014? Margolis’ theory is that Apple will outfit its Mesa plant with special lasers that will be used to transform sapphire glass into solar-enabled display panels for next-gen iPhones.
Margolis certainly builds his case, but a solar-powered iPhone still seems a bit further down the road. For that reason it’s exactly the sort of innovation that would blow us away at an iPhone 6 unveiling later this year.