Feeds

Nokia nixes fuel cells development project

'Too immature'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

Nokia has shelved plans to develop mobile phones powered by fuel cells for at least a few years, the Finnish phone manufacturer said Thursday 3 March. Eight months ago, Nokia launched a fuel-cell development programme but it has concluded the technology is still some way off maturity.

Nokia may restart development work in the future. "Fuel-cell technology is promising and Nokia continues to follow it closely," said Nokia's Matti Naskali, AP reports.

Fuel cell generates electricity as a by-product of the oxidisation of dilute methanol. The principle behind fuel cells has been understood for some time but creating fuel cells small enough to fit neatly onto mobile phones that create sufficient power has been more of a challenge.

Providing these problems can be overcome, powering mobile phones using fuel cells offers several advantages, not least longer talk and standby times. A fuel cell would be refilled in the same way a cigarette lighter is refilled when it runs out of butane.

In June 2004, Tero Ojanpera, the head of Nokia's research centre, demoed a handset powered by a prototype fuel cell. At the time, he predicted that the technology would take two years to become commercially viable.

Fast forward eight months and it’s a different story. Nokia's Naskali told AP that logistical problems had blunted its enthusiasm for the technology. Air transport regulations currently prohibit the carriage of methanol, a flammable substance, without special packaging. Also arrangements to distribute and supply methanol have proved trickier to arrange than Nokia first expected.

Despite Nokia's reservations about the technology other manufacturers including Motorola, Toshiba, Fujitsu and NEC continue to research the development of fuel-cells for either mobiles or laptops. ®

Related stories

NEC to show laptop with built-in fuel cell
Toshiba touts pump-free fuel cell for MP3 players
Fujitsu breakthrough slims fuel cell size
Hitachi readies fuel cell for PDAs
Toshiba demos cellphone fuel cell

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.