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MWC 2024: Honor to Samsung, smartphone makers charge ahead to make better batteries

A smartphone that can be charged in fewer than 40 minutes. Even better: a tiny nuclear battery that could keep it running for 50 years. Facing consumers who are fed up with having to plug in their phones all the time, device makers are racing to develop more potent batteries that can charge faster and last longer. Telecom firms highlighted some of the progress they’ve made at the industry’s biggest annual show, the four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, which got underway in Barcelona on Monday.

“All manufacturers are looking to have better performing batteries. There is a sense that it is an area that is lagging behind, that we have to move forward,” Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson told AFP.

As smartphone models have become increasingly similar, having a better battery is a way to “stand out from the crowd,” he added.

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Since the first smartphones hits the market in the 2000s, there have been several advances in the battery field, such as wireless charging, but there is still much room for improvement.

The growing popularity of power-hungry applications such as gaming and social media is fuelling demand for “mobile batteries with high battery capacity” and spurring the race for innovation among manufacturers, Allied Market Research wrote in a research note.

The majority of smartphones currently run on lithium-ion batteries that are made up of rare materials such as lithium, cobalt and manganese whose prices have soared and which degrade as time passes.

To get around this problem, manufacturers are exploring alternatives using lithium sulphur or graphene which may last longer and rely on less rare elements.

– AI needs –

Chinese handset maker Honor has developed a new higher capacity battery technology which uses silicon-carbon for its new AI-infused flagship Magic 6

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