The latest version of the iPhone Pro Max comes with a special feature – you never have to plug it into a mains outlet, ever. It comes with a PowerPod that is also standalone and never needs a wall socket.
In typical Apple fashion, the self-charging iPhone was kept under wraps until the annual launch of the new models, where it was unveiled with great fanfare by the company’s new CEO; and it got the crowd buzzing. Simply placing the handset on the matching oversize charging pad for 40 minutes a day will charge the phone for another 24 hours of normal use.
The revolutionary technology uses a combination of supercapacitors and nano-diamond voltaics to provide a power source that lasts for decades. There’s just one catch – the PowerPod weighs as much as half a brick, and it’s radioactive. But only internally.
Each PowerPod contains thousands of tiny synthetic diamonds made from Carbon-14, a radioactive isotope harvested from nuclear waste, themselves encrusted in a traditional diamond layer to prevent any radiation escaping. The nuclear diamonds emit electrons, which power the supercapacitors, which in turn charge the phone’s internal battery.
When nuclear diamond batteries first hit the newswires in 2020, there was a great deal of skepticism that they would ever become commercially viable for anything beyond tiny sensors. Now Apple has shown us that, packaged correctly, they can be used to power consumer devices.
Apple is yet to confirm pricing for the new Pro Max, which will undoubtedly fall in the upper end of the super-premium bracket. But for the convenience of never having to find an electrical outlet or invest in a solar power pack, many Apple fans will jump at it, whatever the price.
One question remains unanswered: Will the PowerPod be certified as safe for carry-on luggage on commercial aircraft?