Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s upcoming iPhone 6 could really be a revolutionary device. We reported earlier today that the tech giant is working on its own mobile payment service to rival PayPal. It would allow users to make payments for physical goods and services through their smartphone. Other reports suggest that the iPhone 6 will be solar powered. According to Matt Margolis of Seeking Alpha, Apple had much bigger plans when it invested $578 million in GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT)’ Arizona plant.

iPhone 6

Apple to foray into solar power with iPhone 6?

GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) has said that the Arizona facility will be 100% solar. But products of this facility can also make iPhone 6 and iPod Touch solar. The Arizona facility will be producing scratch-resistant sapphire glass. And underneath the glass covering in iPhone 6, the tech giant would deposit highly-efficient solar cells to charge the device. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s recent job postings, patents and equipment orders all point to the same thing.

Usually, sapphire glass necessary for an iPhone’s screen costs about $13-$18. But GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) has reduced the cost to $3-$5, almost similar to the Gorilla Glass that costs $3 per iPhone. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants sapphire glass to protect all its “cool stuff” like the entire screen working as a Touch ID sensor and the mobile payment system. The protective surface of iPhone 6 can also help charge itself. It clearly fits into Apple’s “lighter and thinner” design because eliminating the need of a battery would reduce the iPhone 6’s weight.

Reasons iPhone 6 would be solar powered

Margolis gives the following reasons to believe that the iPhone 6 would be powered by solar energy:

Apple iPhone 6

  • In October 2013, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) won a solar touch screen patent, which can power a smartphone without any “boost converter.”
  • In September 2013, the Cupertino-based company posted and filled a very solar centric position of Thin Films Engineer. According to 9to5mac, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was looking for an engineer with experience in thin films technology to work on the development and refining of thin films applicable to electronic devices.
  • Last week, reports surfaced that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) has developed 100 different prototypes of the iPhone 6 with sapphire display. It confirms that the iPhone 6 will sport sapphire glass.
  • The tech giant has announced that its capex in 2014 would be $10.5 billion, which includes cutting-edge lasers.
  • The company recently posted a job for Manufacturing Design Engineer position, looking for individuals with experience in “PVC coating” and “scribing” in relation to lasers and thin films (solar cells).