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Summary:

While we’ve been trying to beam the idea of a solar-embedded iPhone into Steve Job’s head (so far unsuccessfully), a design company called Frostfire is helping out with a solar-powered iPhone 4 case.

While we’ve been trying to beam the idea of a solar-embedded iPhone into Steve Job’s head (so far successfully), a design company called Frostfire is helping out. The company has created an iPhone 4 case that has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery at the base with a small solar panel embedded on it that can extend the battery life of your iPhone 4 while on the go.

Twenty minutes of direct sunlight shining on the so-called “Mooncharge” case will buy you an extra 50 minutes on standby mode, or 5 minutes of chatting, so, yeah, not a whole lot. The battery can be charged via a USB cord, as well, and fully charged, will provide the user with 315 hours on standby or 5 extra hours of talk time. The case costs $70.

Speculation about Apple adding some kind of solar power feature to its iDevices has popped up periodically over the past several years. In 2008, Apple reportedly filed a patent application that indicated the company was looking at ways to embed solar panels behind the LCD screens of mobile gadgets like iPods, iPhones and laptops. Embedding solar in gadgets could be valuable because, as devices get more complex and power-hungry, solar could provide a way to extend the device’s battery life. Our current battery technology is certainly not keeping pace with gadgets’ growing power demands.

 

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  1. hmmm… I can imagine a lot of people leaving this black case in direct sunlight and over heating their iphones.

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  2. It seems there are several variations of this and I don’t think the companies branding and selling them is the one who’ve created them. Also in casual testing, the charging times were not at all realistic/efficient. Then again, maybe my expectations were unrealistic.

    Here’s the iPod Touch unit I looked at which looks extremely similar to this company/model’s:

    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2010-08/the-surge-ipod-touch-solar-sled-giveaway/surge-solar-ipod-touch5/

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  3. The problem with add-on devices like these is that they make smartphones so thick/bulky you can no longer fit them inside their belt cases and docking cradles. I recently bought one of these for my Touch Pro 2:

    http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2010/07/accessory-corner-3-energizer-xp18000.html

    No solar power, but it fits on my belt or in a pocket easily, and can recharge a dead phone at least 4 times. Did I mention this works with ANY smartphone, not just Apple?

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  4. Sooo I’ve always wanted one of these cases and was recently surprised when my pops got one for me as a gift! When I saw it I realized it wasn’t a case but rather a standalone battery that clips on to your belt or bag. Now I got this a few months ago when I had the 3GS and updated to the iPhone 4 the day it was released ,and my little soilo charger works like a charm! So make sure you check the solio out before picking up one of these solar cases!

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/TX469LL/A

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  5. I have tested some of these solar charges and have never been pleased with how they don’t work through windshields of cars and basically offer a lot more sizzle but do not perform.

    Did you test this and did it work as advertised? How did you test?

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  6. where can i buy this i phone 4 case at?

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