Rumor That Apple Will Launch Solar-Powered iPhone 6 Unlikely

24/7 Wall St.

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) needs the iPhone 6 to demonstrate that the company can release the sort of revolutionary device that its deceased leader Steve Jobs seemed to have done almost every year since the first iPhone was launched in 2007. The product was sleek and over time added voice recognition. However, the revolution stalled with the iPhone 5. Apple’s future sits much more with China than it does with any solar-powered enhancement.

There is a rumor that the iPhone 6 will be partially solar-powered, which would, indeed, represent a next generation of smartphone technology. However, the rumor is barely a rumor at all and may only carry the hope of the Apple faithful that the company can be what it was five years ago — the industry leader.

An obscure analyst, Matt Margolis, writing at financial blog Seeking Alpha, reported:

Did Apple place an initial order last week for $68m worth of solar cell coating equipment, so they could use lasers to scribe solar cells onto sapphire screens, for the iPhones and iPods that will be released in 2014?

If you think Apple is done innovating, even after they add the solar powered iPhone and iPod, under a sapphire hood in 2014, think again!

The “solar-powered” iPhone 6 is barely a guess by someone whose background does not give his conjecture any weight.

The rumor does tap into the broadly held opinion that Apple may not have yet reached a period in which its ability to innovate has died. The new iPhone does not need the ability to use solar power to radically change the smartphone industry. But it does need an unexpected technology to allow Apple to jump forward. However, most of the speculation about the iPhone 6 involves changes that would not make it terribly different from earlier versions. These include a larger, 5.7-inch screen, a faster A8 chip and a curved screen, according to Mac Rumors. Having “rumor” in the title makes the site aptly named.

What makes the iPhone rumor unimportant is that new features are not what will carry Apple’s flagship forward. Analysts who hope for huge sales in China have a much more accurate view of what could make the iPhone the market leader again. The limits of technology almost certainly have impeded Apple’s ability to launch a device light years ahead of those manufactured by rival Samsung. And Samsung has not been able to cross a divide to a radically new smartphone. The same holds true for every other competitor that Apple and Samsung have.

The solar-powered iPhone 6 rumor is probably not true. The count of Apple’s sales in China will not be a rumor at all.

Filed under: Consumer Electronics Tagged: AAPL

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