Apple, like everyone else, is looking to increase the battery life of its mobile devices. The lithium-ion battery found in current model iPhones takes up a large amount of space yet still often fails to meet our power-hungry needs. A patent revealed by AppleInsider could mean that better batteries are in the works.
Apple's idea is to make current batteries hold more energy without increasing their size. High-density power cells would also up energy density without increasing charging times or reducing minimum life cycle. A charging technique described as multi-step constant-current constant-voltage (CC-CV) would be used to achieve this higher energy density.
Apple plans to implement a multi-stage charging process that would be compatible with the new high-density battery design. By adjusting the charge rate as the battery becomes more full, battery life can be optimized regardless of temperature changes or the charge state of the battery. The patent, titled "Increasing Energy Density in Rechargeable Lithium Battery Cells," was first filed in August 2009 with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Aside from increasing the capacity of existing batteries, Apple is also excited by the prospect of smaller batteries that provide more power. Any extra space inside mobile devices can be used to pack more features into a smaller form factor. Consumers are demanding more from their mobile devices and battery power is a major stumbling block for manufacturers.There's no telling when a high-density lithium-ion battery might make it into future iPhones, or even other products such as MacBooks and iPads. Apple will be sure to let everyone know if and when these designs make it into a production device.