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Apple gains solar power, iPod classic patents

updated 10:50 am EDT, Wed April 8, 2009

Apple solar, iPod patents

The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a collection of new patents, all revolving around the company's portable devices. Unusual amongst these is a patent for solar power circuitry, which could in theory be used to power iPods, iPhones and MacBooks when away from a wall socket. The patent was applied for in 2006 however, and has not been used in any commercial products.

Apple has also gained an assembly method patent for the iPod nano, and a design patent on the iPod classic, despite the latter's similarities with earlier video-capable iPods. Also patented is the look of the App Store logo, mainly as seen on the iPhone and iPod touch. The Classic patent is attributed to a number of Apple engineers, as well as CEO Steve Jobs and senior industrial design VP Jonathan Ive.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dthree

    Joined: Dec 1969



    For a device that people carry in their pocket, solar makes no sense. What would work is kinetic energy harvesting systems like are used in some watches. They convert the movement of the wearer to electricity. One treadmill session could fill up a nano battery.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Solar?

    Maybe with laptops, as mentioned. But even then, do people really want to be sitting in the sun with their laptop. Mine is way too dim to see clearly when I face the sun.

    And if you have a new MBP, the screen is supposedly brighter, but it also has the wonderful glare-filled screens. I've used a glass-screen laptop with the lid facing the sun, and I can say that it my screen basically turned into a mirror.

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, silly.

    They want you to leave your laptop in the sun for hours while you are not using it. That way your computer to be charged-up, warm, and relaxed the next time you want to use it. A toasty computer is a happy computer. Who would want to actually 'use' a laptop in the sun? Geez.

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