Samsung leads the way with the first-ever solar-powered cellphone, bound to appeal to farmers and outdoor enthusiasts.
South Korean electronics group Samsung recently showcased its first solar-powered mobile phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. A commercial launch is scheduled for later this year.
The sleek, touch-control Blue Earth has solar panels on its back, which the company claims can charge the battery in 10 to 14 hours. This would offer about four hours of talk time. The cellphone, expected to be launched in Europe in the second half of 2009, can also be charged normally, with the solar panels topping up the battery. Fellow South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics also displayed a prototype solar-powered phone, but the company has no launch date or name for the device.
Industry watchers say the market for a solar-powered phone would include outdoor enthusiasts in developed countries. Its recycled materials and built-in pedometer might also appeal to eco-gadget fans. It would also be a boon to farmers in remote areas who need to keep in contact with their stockmen. – Chris Nel |fw