You’re at the park on a nice sunny day when Grandma calls, you answer your cell phone and without warning it dies. You forgot to charge it last night; Grandma will have to wait. However, if a company out of China has its way, that would never happen to you again.
Hi-Tech Wealth claims to have successfully created something that cell phone companies around the world have been testing for years, a solar powered cell phone.
The company says that the phone’s solar panel can be charged from the sun or any artificial light source. An hour of being in the light is enough to give you 40 minutes of talk time.
While Hi-Tech Wealth may not be a well known company in the United States, they are one of the top cell phone providers in China. So does this mean the United States won’t be seeing a solar powered cell phone any time soon?
Hi-Tech Wealth holds eight patents on the new device and hopes to start manufacturing the phones for the highest bidder. However, it could be another year before they hit the streets in the United States, if ever.
Who are these phones marketed towards?
If the phones ever actually make it to the United States, it’s likely that they won’t be much more than a novelty. Phones these days can remain charged for days before needing to be plugged in and a phone charger is never far away. But for poorer countries, the solar powered cell phone just may be the device that propels them into the 21st century.
Many rural communities in China still do not have electricity, so having a cell phone has been almost impossible, but now even the most remote towns and villages would be able to communicate via cell phones. Not to mention that the phones could bring the first glimpse of the Internet to many people. In fact, the Chinese Government has already secured and pre-ordered 50,000 units for testing in rural areas.
The S116, their first commercially available solar powered phone, retails for $510 and has already become a hit in China, but to compete in other markets the price will have to drop significantly. Competitors such as the iPhone by Apple, which is slated for a June 29th release, will be sold at a lower price ($499) than the S116.
Source: Hitech Wealth, URL: (http://www.htwchina.com/htwtE/index.jsp)