Meet the hydrogen-powered Apple iPhone that runs for a week per cartridge

“A British technology company has claimed a major smartphone breakthrough by developing an iPhone that can go a week without recharging, running instead off a built-in hydrogen fuel cell,” Christopher Williams reports for The Telegraph.

“Intelligent Energy has made a working iPhone 6 prototype containing both a rechargeable battery and its own patented technology, which creates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, producing only small amounts of water and heat as waste,” Williams reports. “The company is believed to be working closely with Apple.”

“In what it claims is a world first, it has incorporated a fuel cell system into the current iPhone 6 without any alteration to the size or shape of the device. The only cosmetic differences compared with other handsets are rear vents so an imperceptible amount of water vapour can escape,” Williams reports. “For the commercial launch the company is developing a disposable cartridge that would slot into the bottom of future smartphones and contain enough hydrogen-releasing powder for a week of normal use without recharging. Intelligent Energy said it is now considering the cartridges’ sale price.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Seems more costly than the mere pennies per year it currently costs to charge your iPhone. Perhaps as an adjunct source of power – for not only iPhones, but iPads and MacBooks, too – for long-haul traveling, camping, etc. this would be interesting.

Now, if you scaled up things up and figured out how to cost-effectively put them into vehicles (and cost-effectively make the fuel, which is the big issue), then you’d really be cooking… er, traveling with gas! (Hint, hint.)

How much does it cost to charge an iPhone 5 per year? – September 27, 2012
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011


  1. That would be an interesting device to run through airport security…

    TSA: What does this metal cartridge do?

    Traveler: Well, it releases hydrogen gas to power my laptop.

    TSA: But hydrogen is flammable. I remember seeing video of the Hindenburg…

  2. A pretty silly idea. Recharging a phone is easy and can be done anywhere at any time including off a computer or even solar powered battery packs. Whoever developed this is a victim of group think or yes people who are not willing to tell them it is a bad idea.

    Having to buy and remember hydrogen cartridges is less convenient, people will forget and the place where one has to buy them will be closed when one needs them the most.

  3. This would simply be a field model for conditions where charging isn’t practical. However you could refuel your phone with a butane like canister. That’s how I imagine it. Possibly military/spy applications. Just thinking where it would make sense. Or how about this: For use on Antarctica or in Space.

    If you had a 10cc compressed hydrogen canister, you could top-up your phone multiple times for literally months of use, without seeing a power cord.

    Sure it’s cheaper to charge, but when you are on the run, who has time to wait?

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