Future iPhones could have 7-day fuel cells

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iPhon
iPhon
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple may be interested in putting hydrogen-powered batteries in future iPhones, extending battery life up to 7 days per charge. Best of all? You’d charge your iPhone through the headphone jack.

Hydrogen-powered batteries have a big advantage over lithium-ion power cells: battery life. By mixing hydrogen and oxygen, hydrogen-powered batteries create electricity, but with a few drawbacks: The batteries produce water vapor, which is bad for devices prone to corrosion, and you don’t charge them by plugging them into your wall. Instead, you refill them, almost like a vape, slotting new canisters of hydrogen into your device.

The advantage is longevity: Hydrogen-powered batteries are much more efficient and long-lasting than lithium-ion batteries. (The Hubble Space Telescope uses hydrogen-based batteries.) Now, U.K. battery company Intelligent Energy claims it’s reduced the physical footprint of hydrogen-powered batteries to a small enough form factor they can fit into the iPhone, while keeping the iPhone’s existing rechargeable li-ion battery.

“We have now managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the rechargeable battery,” Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy, told The Mirror. “This is a major step because if you are moving to a new technology you have to give people a path they are comfortable with.”

According to the report, Intelligent Energy refused to comment on “rumors” of Apple’s involvement. Whether Intelligent Energy is spreading those rumors itself to garner interest in their technology is for you to decide. It’s not like Apple to announce interest in a technology like this before buying up the company producing it.

But if future iPhones adopted this technology, you’d be able to squeeze out a week’s worth of battery from a single fuel-cell charge, while continuing to charge your iPhone normally if you didn’t want to pony up for a canister. It would add a couple of vents to the iPhone’s design for water vapor to escape, but to charge the fuel cell, you’d just plug it into the dual-use headphone socket/refuel valve.

Sounds cool. But do you think it’s likely?

Source: The Mirror