DoCoMo To Launch Fuel Cell Powered Phones

from the is-that-what-people-really-want? dept

There’s been a lot of hype about the potential for fuel cells lately, and it looks like some fuel cell-based products are finally coming to market. Over in Japan, DoCoMo is getting ready to launch a fuel cell mobile phone, which they think will help drive 3G adoption. The article claims that one of the major reasons that 3G adoption has been slow is the weak battery life of the 3G phones. I’m not sure that’s true. I’m sure it’s one reason for slow adoption – but high prices and questionable functionality compared to existing services probably had a lot more to do with it. Furthermore, fuel cells bring up other challenges that I’m not so sure consumers want to deal with – mainly in refueling. Most consumer devices these days have moved to rechargeable batteries because they discovered that people don’t like having to keep buying and replacing batteries. However, that’s exactly what you need to do with fuel cells – except you’re replacing fuel instead of batteries (though, in many cases, the “fuel” will come in little boxes that most people will probably call batteries anyway). So, while they might provide much longer life, they’re going to be an added expense (have to keep buying more fuel) and hassle (have to keep replacing the fuel in the phone). I’m sure some people will go for it, but it will be interesting to see how people way these factors against the “longer battery life” issue.

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