A U.S. solar energy company will market its solar battery charger for cellular telephones.
NEWARK, Delaware – AstroPower, Inc. has signed a six-month exclusive resale agreement with iGo Corp., a re-seller of mobile accessories, to market the AstroCharger(TM) Solar Battery Charger in the North American market. “We’re entering an entirely new and very exciting marketplace,” says Cris DiRuggiero. “We believe that our relationship with iGo provides an ideal entrance into the entire consumer electronics market.” The AstroCharger is the first in a series of products that converts sunlight directly into electricity. The pocket-sized device unfolds like a book, exposing two small solar panels that can recharges a mobile phone battery and provide 30 minutes of extra talk time for each hour of sunlight exposure. The unit is water-resistant and has a retractable cord. Adapters make the solar battery charger compatible with most mobile phones and will be sold through iGo at a suggested retail price of $4. “We’ll start out by offering the AstroCharger for the Motorola StarTAC, Ericsson T2 and Samsung 3500/500 phones,” says Earl Siamundo of iGo. “We expect strong demand for the AstroCharger from customers who need on-demand power.” iGo will feature the solar unit on the front cover of its next catalog, and will promote the product prominently on its website. Through its distribution sales channel, iGo will pursue retailers in North America. “We have been working on the wireless communication market for several years,” says AstroPower president and CEO Allen Barnett. “We believe that a number of converging trends make our new wireless battery charger the right product at the right time.” “Increasing demand for always-on Internet connectivity, limited battery storage capability, and a highly mobile lifestyle provide a significant set of challenges to users and designers of hand-held electronic devices,” he adds. “As wireless products continue to proliferate, we expect that an expanded line of AstroChargers will become increasingly indispensable to highly mobile users.” AstroPower is based in Newark, Delaware, and claims to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of solar electric products. It develops photovoltaic cells, modules, panels and systems for both off-grid and on-grid applications. Last month, the company was added to the S&P SmallCap 600. iGo is a multi-channel distribution company with online and traditional catalog and direct sales businesses. Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, it designs, manufactures and distributes batteries, adapters and chargers for mobile products such as laptop computers, cellular telephones and wireless devices.