The gap between the power demands from smartphones and the battery capacity available to those devices is only going to widen over the next several years, according to IMS Research.
The power gap puts a number of players in the wireless industry in a bind, most notably handset makers that are being asked to cram more and more power-draining features into smartphones and yet improve battery life. Carriers too are affected.
"Handsets with dead batteries don't use very much data or talk time," IMS Research analyst Chris Schreck said in a release. "That's bad news for network operators looking to drive ARPU. Similarly, consumers are unlikely to pay a premium for features that they know will only drain their battery, which places downward pressure on handset selling prices for handset OEMs." According to IMS, increasing power consumption is being driven by both mobile data applications and the kinds of features on the latest phones, from faster processors to more vivid displays.
"Even with a 1500 mAh battery, which is the high water mark in the industry at the moment, our estimates show many smartphone users only have a battery life of 6 hours," Shreck said. And many analysts agree that there will not be a major breakthrough in battery technology soon.
However, there are a number of potential technologies that could ease the problem, including multi-core processing to turn off certain features when they are not being used, fuel cell technology and even kinetic energy that could generate, convert and store power for mobile phones.
- see this release
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