The global flexible battery market demand is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. 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 product demand 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 batteries are 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 in new designs that the traditional batteries lacked. Benefits such as improved power efficiency coupled with elongated battery life are anticipated to elevate demand over the coming years. On account of the aforementioned factors, companies such as Apple, Samsung, and LG are anticipated to enter the industry. Initiatives of manufacturing thin-film solid-state batteries are undertaken by semiconductor manufacturers such as STMicroelectronics, subsequently fueling flexible electronics demand. Technological development addressing the issue of short circuit during stretching may further propel flexible battery market demand over the next seven years. The challenge of high production cost can be worked upon by achieving economies of scale. New product development and mass production may help companies overcome the hindrance of production costs.
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 wearable segment, 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 lifetime 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 include intensive R&D and product development so as to come up with products which are efficient and affordable
North America accounts for the highest 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 reliable power 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 largely contribute to 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 major products 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 whereas Blue spark standard is used in various applications including RF- sensors.
Advancements in the packaging industry propel integration of sound & display text and smart labels, which largely requires flexible batteries to supply power. Essentially, the wireless communication application is expected to evolve owing to emerging technologies such as industrial IoT that integrate flexible batteries. Further, growing trend towards wireless systems and devices is anticipated to offer new avenues for flexible battery industry growth over the next few years.
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The global electronics devices market (including consumer electronics and industrial electronics devices) is expected to be impacted significantly by COVID-19 as China is one of the major suppliers for the raw materials (used to manufacture devices) as well as the finished products. The industry is on the brink of facing a reduction in production, disruption in supply, and price fluctuations. While this can vastly encourage local manufacturers to step up and address the growing demand, the scarcity of raw material can still pose a challenge to this industry. The sales of prominent electronic companies is expected to be affected in the near future. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.