Mak­ing Smart­phones Last Longer: The Rise of Bat­tery Ca­pac­i­ties

Smart­phone brands are re­spond­ing to the con­sumer de­mand with in­creas­ing bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties as a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor

Voice&Data - - CONTENT - Man­ish rawat (The Au­thor is Re­search As­so­ciate, In­dus­try In­tel­li­gence Group, CMR)

Smart­phones have re­de­fined the way we com­mu­ni­cate, work, en­ter­tain, play and ex­plore the world around us. In fact, smart­phones are now the pri­mary de­vice for con­sumers to get con­nected dig­i­tally ‘on the go’. The GenZ con­sumers, for in­stance, are spend­ing more time on games such as PUBG and Fort­nite, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic on apps, such as Gaana, Spo­tify, Youtube Mu­sic, and stream­ing videos on Ama­zon Prime, Net­flix and other OTT plat­forms. As users spend more time ev­ery day on their smart­phones, it is no won­der that bat­ter­ies have come to the spot­light.

The Dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing Fac­tor

In­ter­est­ingly, smart­phone brands are re­spond­ing to this con­sumer de­mand with in­creas­ing bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties as a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor in a hy­per­com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. Whether it be more mAh, or new tech­nolo­gies, such as fast charg­ing or wire­less charg­ing, the smart­phone bat­tery is go­ing a phase of in­no­va­tion. Also, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances have helped bat­tery be­come more light weight and com­pact as well as a fea­turerich en­abling a longer bat­tery life.

Smart­phone brands, in­clud­ing mar­ket lead­ers, such as Xiaomi, Sam­sung, Vivo, Realme, Oppo, OnePlus and Asus have been fo­cused on bring­ing smart­phones with bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties of 4000 mAh and above.

Sim­i­lar to the bat­tery adop­tion trends seen in smart­phones with 3000 mAh bat­ter­ies, the 4000 mAh bat­tery ini­tially fea­tured in flag­ship smart­phones. By the end of 2018 and early 2019, the

adop­tion of 4000 mAh bat­tery ca­pac­ity in smart­phones in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly in the value for money price bands. With the launch of re­cent Sam­sung galaxy M se­ries and Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 se­ries, the trend to­wards higher bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties is in­ten­si­fy­ing fur­ther.

New De­vel­op­ments

As live video stream­ing and ex­treme gaming ex­pe­ri­ence takes fur­ther roots, smart­phone brands are look­ing at bring­ing smart­phones with sig­nif­i­cantly higher ca­pac­i­ties, go­ing be­yond 5000 mAh, and 6000mAh. A case in point, ASUS ROG Phone 2 from Asus that prom­ise to en­hance gaming fur­ther.

CMR es­ti­mates point to a stag­ger­ing 50-55% smart­phones shipping with 4000 mAh and higher ca­pac­i­ties by end-2019. Our ini­tial es­ti­mates also point to this trend in­ten­si­fy­ing fur­ther, with 70-75% of the smart­phones shipped in 2020 to sport bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties of 4000 mAh and higher.

In ad­di­tion to higher bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties, smart­phone brands are also look­ing at in­tro­duc­ing in­no­va­tions in bat­tery charg­ing. Whether it be dash charg­ing or Quick Charge, VOOC or Su­perVOOC, the fo­cus is on en­sur­ing swiftly re­vi­tal­iz­ing the bat­tery juice, in as short a time as pos­si­ble. For smart­phone flag­ships, such bat­tery charg­ing tech­nolo­gies act as dif­fer­en­tia­tors to at­tract con­sumers.

Smart­phones, boast­ing of any one form of fast charg­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, in­creased by 16% in Q1 2019 when com­pared to Q1 2018, as per data from CMR.

It is clear that smart­phone bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties are in­creas­ing, and new in­no­va­tions are en­abling such bat­ter­ies to fit into smart­phones that are slim­mer. In ad­di­tion, large bat­ter­ies are no longer con­fined to niche smart­phone flag­ships.

While there is a clear trend in bat­tery ca­pac­i­ties, there are var­i­ous other fac­tors, such as evolv­ing smart­phone form fac­tors and the smart­phone sizes that con­sumers can hold com­fort­ably, and the prices of lithium re­quired for such bat­tery pro­duc­tion.

As pro­ces­sors be­come more pow­er­ful, and screen dis­plays be­come daz­zling, smart­phone ef­fi­cien­cies will de­pend on a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors, be­yond just bat­tery, to en­sure more gets done while con­serv­ing juice.

“With the in­crease in af­ford­abil­ity, avail­abil­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity, more con­sumers are latch­ing on to smart­phones, and spend­ing more time on­line. As re­cent data from the CMR Mo­bile In­dus­try Con­sumer In­sights (MICI) Sur­vey shows, 87% of the smart­phone buy­ers in In­dia ‘fac­tor-in’ the bat­tery life and bat­tery ca­pac­ity as a key spec, while pur­chas­ing their next smart­phone”

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