Originally Posted by mrtotes
T... I have often thought that the black area around the iPhone/iPod touch screen would be idea for solar panels - they certainly won't provide power for HD video but who knows after a few minutes in the sun they might allow you to make that one 999 (911) call. ...
I like this idea; very practical.
I often think it's funny, given that Apple is so fantastic at design, (and they are) that at the same time they seem to miss things like this that would actually be a great benefit to the end user.
For instance, an iPhone that you could (accidentally) drop in a toilet
or use in the rain
would be a far bigger improvement to the daily lives of the average iPhone user than slightly longer battery life. At Apple headquarters in California it hardly rains at all, but where I live it rains almost every day. I don't think this basic fact has occurred to the Apple engineers yet.
Also, if instead of being the precious jewel it is now and requiring a tiny perfect special case to keep it safe, the iPhone was rugged enough to just toss around like a regular cell phone, or even be sat
on (inadvertently) a lot of people's lives would be made much easier overnight.
I think Apple's design team could benefit from going to an actual working-class
person's house (some of them must have poor "friends of friends" or something), to see how real people use their phones day to day and what the actual
design problems are. When you don't have a butler to hold an umbrella over you or a Mercedes waiting at the curb (or even a car), the problems you face are slightly different.