Technological advancement in the portable electronics field is anticipated to drive the global flexible battery market growth over the next few years. High-cost associated with these batteries and the availability of low-cost options including lithium-ion, zinc and nickel batteries have resulted in limited commercial success for these batteries. However, improving R&D efforts may help in minimizing product cost, thereby fueling productdemand over the forecast period. Flexible battery design provides substantial benefits over its counterparts, which are usually bulky. The technology is in the phase of rapid growth with improved designs and performance. These batteriesare expected to witness high penetration with healthy demand across consumer electronics segments, particularly smart wearable devices. Flexible batteries are designed to be efficient as compared to traditional batteries which were large, heavy and rigid. Several blue chip companies like IBM, Exxon Mobil Corp. are investing heavily in the flexible batteries.
Advances in IoT-based devices are expected to upsurge the flexible battery demand over the next few years.Technological advancements resulting innew designs that the traditional batteries lacked. Benefits such as improved power efficiency coupled with elongated battery life are anticipatedtoelevate demand over the coming years. On account of the aforementioned factors, companies such as Apple, Samsung and LG are anticipated to enter in the industry. Initiatives of manufacturing thin-film solid-state batteriesare undertaken by semiconductor manufacturers such as STMicroelectronics, subsequently fueling flexible electronics demand. Technologicaldevelopment addressing the issue of short circuit during stretching may further propel demand over the next seven years. The challenge of high product cost can be worked upon by achieving economies of scale. New product development and mass production may help companies overcome the hindrance of production cost.
Major variants of flexible batteries include printed battery, thin film battery, laminar lithium-polymer battery, advanced lithium ion battery, flexible zinc carbon batteries, and flexible solar batteries.Widespread usage of these batteries in applications including healthcare, cosmetics and wearable electronics is expected to catapult industry growth over the forecast period. In healthcare, numerous skin patching companies are entering the market due to high demand for printed batteries. Thin-film batteries (TFB) are positioned to become the next generation of lithium batteries for portable electronic applications in smart cards and smart tags, single-use health & medical devices, and multimedia enhancements for entertainment items, novelties &packaging.
Prevalent usage of printed zinc batteries is restricted due to their high price. In the wearablesegment, printed rechargeable zinc batteries and high-energy thin film batteries have huge potential owing to their extended battery life.LiPON-based thin lithium batteries serve the best purpose due to stable power supply, safety, long life time and high power storage.
Notable companies in the industry include Apple Inc., Nokia Technologies, Samsung SDI Co., Ltd, Front Edge Technology, Inc, STMicroelectronics, Blue Spark Technologies, Inc., LG ChemLtd., and Fullriver Battery New Technology Co Ltd. Key growth strategy adopted by major players in the industry includeintensive R&D and product development so as to come up with products which are efficient and affordable
North America accounts for thehighest market share in the global flexible battery market closely followed by Europe. Electronics manufacturers such as Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., LG Chem Ltd. and other players based in Korea are in the process of developing these batteries. The aim is to power portable devices, which require more reliablepower source. China is expected to emerge as dominant regional market owing to prevalence of several consumer electronic manufacturing units in the region. Such advancements are anticipated to largelycontribute towards regional market growth.
Similarly, STMicroelectronics introduced thin-film batteries which are rechargeable batteries having constant voltage recharge and a life cycle of almost 10 years. Blue spark technologies have commercialized two majorproducts in the market namely Blue spark standard series (ST) and Blue spark ultra thin series (UT). Blue spark ultra is one of the thinnest batteries and is well suited for power display cards where as Blue spark standard is used in various applicationsincluding RF- sensors.
Advancements in the packaging industry propel integration of sound & display textand smart labels, which largely requires flexible batteries to supply power. Essentially, the wireless communication application is expected to evolve owing to the emerging technologies such as industrial IoT that integrate flexible batteries. Further, growing trend towards wireless systems and devices is anticipatedtooffer new avenues for industry growth over the next few years.
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