The latest Apple-related U.S. Patent and Trademark Office publishing reveals a design for a solar powered portable device (i.e. an iPod or iPhone), an improvement on a previous 2008 patent filing.

As described, such a device would host built-in rigid solar panels on its front and back with which to collect power. In the filing the entire front and rear of the device would be covered with the cells.

The system includes circuits to monitor the battery’s state, choosing whether to recharge using external solar power or to store solar energy for later use.

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