Feeds

Nokia nixes fuel cells development project

'Too immature'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.