The patent, discovered by MacRumors, describes an iPod with a solar panel under the LCD screen that could be used to provide additional power.
However, the surface area is so small that it is unlikely to be able to totally power the device.
IPod screen sizes are increasing, but so too is the load on batteries following plans for GPS and other power hungry features to be added to the range.
The patent application makes no mention of how to get past the screen reflection problem, since LCD screens are highly reflective.
Other manufacturers have already looked at this area. Motorola filed a similar patent for under-screen solar cell technology for organic LED screens which are less reflective.
Apple plans solar-powered iPod
By Iain Thomson on May 28, 2008 7:44AM