Apple is reportedly working on a secret battery project with British fuel cell firm Intelligent Energy, Daily Mail has learned from “senior sources in the U.S.,” hoping to one day embed eco-friendly fuel cell batteries in various devices including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
The technology would allow Apple to offer buyers iPads and MacBooks that can run without being charge for days and even weeks, although Apple customers will have to wait for a few years for the technology to be deployed. The iPhone has not been explicitly named in Daily Mail’s report, but it’s likely Apple would use the technology once fuel cells would be miniaturized enough to fit the slim iPhones of the future.
Intelligent Energy has confirmed it has bought patents together with a major “international electronics company,” without revealing the name of said company. However, a source familiar with the partnership says it’s Apple that’s working with the British company on fuel cell tech.
Intelligent Energy has opened an office in San Jose, California, “down the road from Apple’s headquarters,” and has hired former Apple product specialist Joe O’Sullivan as chief operating officer. The company already provides battery technology to various companies including Suzuki and Boeing.
While Apple’s partnership with Intelligent Energy is yet to be officially acknowledged, the iPhone maker is already working on different ways of improving battery life in its devices, including mobile gadgets. A recent report has revealed that Apple has purchased LuxVue Technology to further improve battery life in its devices, while various Apple patents describe other means of improving battery life, including the use of embedded solar panels in devices, wireless charging, and better assessing daily use of a device to boost battery efficiency.
An animation showing how fuel cell batteries work, from Intelligent Energy’s website’s FAQ section, follows below.