Apple has just had a new patent approved for what could become the next major advancement in mobile phone technology in the form of an integrated touch and solar sensor panel; in layman’s terms a solar powered iPhone.

New generations of smart phones have faster electronics, more powerful computer chips, and larger screens with a higher resolution, yet battery technology has changed little, and this is starting to limit further advancements. Phones are becoming thinner and thinner, but they can only be as thin as their battery allows them to be; using a solar panel would avoid that problem.

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