updated 09:52 am EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
Tech still not in any shipping product
Apple has won rights to a sixth US patent related to solar power, according to Patently Apple. The concept involves a portable device with several power interfaces, of which one could be an "auxiliary" source, specifically solar cells. How those cells might be integrated into a device is left out of the equation.
Although Apple has regularly submitted applications for patents on solar technology, it has yet to build any products with solar cells in them, or even a solar-fueled charging accessory. The company has in fact invested more effort into building solar farms for its new data centers as well as its upgraded headquarters. The problem could be efficiency, since it may be difficult to generate enough power on a small scale, especially as Apple devices are often used away from sunlight.