Sharp Taking Solar Powered Cell Phones Global


Image via Sharp

Sharp's solar powered cell phone debuted in the Japanese market just shy of a year ago, and after experiencing a boom in popularity, the company is ready to take its solar powered phone global, entering the fray of a rising number of mobile phones and devices with embedded solar cells. And it's chosen to start off with a country that has a thing for green gadgets...

According to Sharp's press release, this is the first time it is taking a solar cell phone to global markets. After releasing it in China, the company plans to take it to more countries, but no word on where.

This is the same phone we covered last April, which can generate 1 minute of talk time or 2 hours of standby for every 10 minutes in the sun. Leaving your phone in the sun for 10 minutes isn't that big of a deal, though how repeatedly doing this will degrade the cell phone itself, we're not sure. It may end up being that the solar cell only adds to the embodied energy and shortens the lifespan of the phone, rather than offering any sort of quality off-grid charging solution. Solar powered cell phones really are just a novelty, and since we still lack super efficient, affordable solar cells, we question how green embedded solar cells on electronics really are.

Still, the notion is spreading, obviously, and after success in Japan, Sharp is ready to dip its toes into the global market. China is a perfect place to start since according to a recent survey, consumers in China are highly likely to purchase electronics that have a "green" streak. The study states, "In fact, virtually all--98 percent--of Chinese
consumers, compared with just 43 percent of consumers in the United States, reported such willingness."

So will we see the solar cell phone in the US? Probably not any time soon. No worries - Americans are so obsessed with iPhones and iPads with solar skins right now that we won't miss this, or most other, solar cell phones any time soon.

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Tags: Cell Phones | Electronics | Gadgets | Solar Power