With the iPhone being as popular as it is, nobody should be surprised that everyone wants to get in on the act. The smartphone has become something of a modern phenomenon over the past few years and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon.
Shortly after the phone itself was launched, there were chargers, solar iPhone cases, apps and a whole host of other products to part users from their money. I know we have touched on them before, but I wanted to revisit solar iPhone cases once more.
The iPhone is/was notoriously power hungry. It was soon noticed that even moderate use ate the battery like no phone before it. That meant heavy users were finding themselves having to charge daily, or even having to charge during the day. While not ideal, it was seen as the cost of having a smartphone with lots of toys to play with.
Solar iPhone cases came along a little after launch in an effort to address the need for constant power from the phone. It couldn’t handle the demands of a seriously heavy iPhone user, but could keep the battery topped up if left out during the day.
The inability to keep up with the power demands of heavy users was the main limitation of the solar iPhone case. The panel and battery simply aren’t large enough to cope. While the ability to trickle charge during the day is nice, it doesn’t fully address the issue.
The other, and to my mind, more significant limitation is that to charge, the solar iPhone case needs to be left on a desk or windowsill somewhere in daylight. We all know that solar panels need light to charge, but in our normal systems, they can’t be put into a pocket and stolen.
If I worked in a large office and left my iPhone on a desk or windowsill at work, would it still be there in an hour? While many of us are fortunate enough to work with trustworthy people, so many of us aren’t. Leaving a phone lying around is just asking for trouble. Make it an iPhone and it’s doubly problematic.
While the solar iPhone case technology itself is sound, the implementation of it can be more difficult. Like much in the solar industry, engineers work very hard to solve practical problems. The need for power has been addressed. The ability to trickle charge the battery has been addressed. But how to use the technology safely has not.