Solar powered mobile phones

by Antonio Pasolini on February 22, 2009

I have to admit to not being mad about gadgets but I will make a exception to a new batch of mobile phones that were introduced at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which ended on February, 19th.

Chinese device maker ZTE, in conjunction with Digicel Group, has launched the Coral-200-Solar, the “world’s first low-cost solar-powered mobile phone”. The Coral-200-Solar, manufactured by ZTE, uses proprietary technology from Dutch-based innovator Intivation.

Digicel has been providing its customers with low-cost or free portable solar charges in many markets, since last year. It says the concept of linking charger devices and a phone at the point of sales has been a proven success. Says Tom Bryant, Digicel Group VP Distribution Procurement: “Solar-powered handsets are clearly the way to meet the needs of power-challenged users across the globe. While the idea of solar-powered handsets has been around for some time, it has taken the leadership of Digicel and the technology and manufacturing skills of its partners Intivation and ZTE to make the Coral-200-Solar handset a reality”.

Samsung has also unveiled a solar-powered mobile device during the event. Called Blue Earth, it is “designed to symbolize a flat and well rounded shiny pebble … [it is] the first solar powered full-touch screen phone. By charging with the solar panel located on the back of the phone, users can generate enough electronic power to call anytime anywhere.”

Samsung informs that Blue Earth is made from recycled plastic called PCM, which is extracted from water bottles, helping to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions in the manufacturing process. The device, including charger, is free from harmful substances such as Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalate.

Since cell phones are ubiquitous in today’s world, a shift towards solar energy represents a step forward in the way of sustainability.

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