Apple iPad has a long battery life in comparison to laptops and many other tablets on the market. But it can’t even get close to what devices such as Kindle offer. The next generation iPads may not be able to close the gap significantly, but they could potentially take advantage of solar power to offer their users an easier way to keep their tablets charged (according to a recent Apple patent):
a solar power package for use with an electronic device, the package comprising: at least one solar cell operable to derive solar power from solar energy; and a power charger operable to provide the derived solar power to the portable electronic device, wherein the derived solar power is provided in a plug-and-play fashion when the portable electronic device is coupled to the package, and wherein the power charge is operative to adjust the amount of power provided to the portable electronic device based on attributes of the portable electronic device.
The future iPhones and iPads could have solar battery cells in the front and back. According to this patent, users will be able to charge these devices multiple ways. iPad 2 won’t be a solar powered device but it could have a retina and less reflective display. At this point, it is not clear when we will see solar iPads. At the same time, solar tablets are much more exciting alternatives to e-readers than the current crop of slates.