Battery life -- longer battery life, that is -- remains a key issue in the mobile technology world. And Sony is moving to do something to help smartphone users everywhere get more battery for their bucks by 2020.
According to news reports, Sony is developing a high-capacity rechargeable battery to replace lithium-ion batteries in the next five years. Japanese technology site Nikkei revealed Sony plans to increase energy density per volume by 40 percent -- from the current 700Wh/L to 1,000 Wh/L -- by tapping into a sulfur compound as an electrode material.
Sony could not immediately be reached for comment, but reports suggest the company will commercialize the newfangled batteries for smartphones initially before rolling them out for other uses, including robots.
We caught up with Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, to get his thoughts on the new battery innovation. He told us this doesn’t appear to represent a revolutionary upgrade for smartphone batteries.
“Typically we get somewhere between five and 10 percent more capacity out of batteries per year,” Entner said. “So, this is roughly on track with what we would expect anyway.”
The bottom line: Smartphone users are always looking for more power, so Entner said any progress companies make is always welcome news.
“The smartphone market is on the cutting edge driving high power consumption over a longer time,” Entner said. “A battery like the one Sony is proposing allows us to either make batteries even smaller or, if we keep the same battery size, make the phones run longer.”
Other Industry Moves
On other battery fronts, Huawei Technology Corp. recently made a big industry move to help consumers who wait until the last minute to get charged up -- or just use their devices so much that they need frequent rapid charges.
Last month, Huawei's research and development subsidiary Watt Lab took the lid off its quick charging lithium-ion batteries. The technology powers batteries that have posted charging speeds 10 times faster than current batteries. That translates to getting a 50 percent charge in a matter of minutes.
And in an apparent move to address the need for longer battery life on its iPhone 6 models, Apple recently rolled out a new smart battery case for $99. The Smart Battery Case is engineered specifically for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 to give users even longer battery life and protection.
Practically speaking, Apple promises the Smart Battery Case will let an individual use the Internet on LTE networks for up to 18 hours and increase talk time to up to 25 hours when the iPhone and case are charged at the same time. Apple is reporting even longer audio and video playback with the Smart Battery Case, but the company didn’t get specific.
Posted: 2015-12-19 @ 2:42am PT
If it catches fire or explodes, does it give off 40% more pryotechnic glory?