Apple's work on solar-powered devices has garnered renewed interest from the blogosphere with the granting of a few new patents and the resurfacing of an older one dealing with solar battery recharging. Although the chatter about Apple and solar power started a couple of years ago, it's more important now than ever for Apple to embrace green technology to advance its products -- and customer satisfaction -- into the 21st century.
There's a lot (and a lot) of talk about the upcoming Apple tablet, and in a recent study, researchers discovered that 39 percent of potential customers want solar power support in in the device to combat Apple's occasional problems with poor battery life. It's unlikely that the first-gen Apple Tablet be capable of recharging by the sun, but if the tablet soars, its second iteration may appease customers' desire for solar-powered recharging. And it wouldn't be a bad idea if solar tech came to iPods and iPhones as well -- or, hell, Apple's entire product line -- giving the company a leg up in the arena of green.
Apple's public relations team will tell you that Apple is doing a bang-up job developing environmentally-friendly products, but Greenpeace disagrees and has launched a campaign to green Apple to the core. According to Greenpeace, Apple products sport a variety of toxic chemicals that (obviously) cannot be recycled and "end up at the fingertips of children in China, India and other developing-world countries. They dismantle them for parts, and are exposed to a dangerous toxic cocktail that threatens their health and the environment." (To join Greenpeace's cause, check out its .mAct site.) In light of this information, Apple needs to figuratively step on the gas in its trek toward buddying up with the Earth, and a solar-powered device is another great launching spot.
Apple has built its reputation as a pioneer. Over the course of its history, Apple has consistently brought game-changing tech to the table and spawned legions of imitators. With environmental issues very much on the minds of many, Apple has the opportunity to change the game all over again, and plant a huge footprint on the way we evaluate modern technology.