A British engineering firm thinks it’s solved the iPhone battery problem. And Apple is listening


Somewhere near Nottingham, England they’ve just designed a fuel cell that can power your phone for a whole week, writes Ben Walker

Yesterday’s blog about the battery crisis in the smartphone industry touched a nerve. Judging by the feedback we got from the article, it seems that the problem is annoying just about everybody who relies on their phone for business, which is pretty much all of us. But thankfully there are companies out there who are determined to tackle the problem.

One leading firm is Intelligent Energy, an engineering firm in the English Midlands, a few miles south of Nottingham.

These modern-day Robin Hoods are taking from the rich (the air that we breathe) and giving to the poor (the phone batteries that have got ever worse as cellphones have got better. They’ve designed a fully functioning hydrogen fuel cell battery for the iPhone that combines hydrogen and oxygen to power the unit for a week.

And here’s the rub: Intelligent Energy is doing all this in partnership with Apple itself. That’s unofficial – Intelligent Energy refuses to comment on its commercial partnership – but clues unearthed onsite by reporters from British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, which include a ballpoint pen from a hotel in Cupertino, suggest that Apple is involved.

So how long have we got to wait before fuel cell saves us from charging our phones every day? Mark Lawson-Statham, the company’s corporate finance chief, told the Telegraph: “Our view is that this is a couple of years out – but really it’s about how quickly does our partner want to press the button and get on with it?”