When cell phones first became common consumer items it was all about form and signal strength. Flip phones that got more than 3 bars of service were all the rage. Then the iPhone and its competitors took over thanks to feature sets that expanded Mobile to include all kinds of games, productivity apps and data services. Now the next step is happening and if this week’s presenters at CES are right, it will be all about expanding battery life far beyond the few hours most devices offer customers already.
George Zhao, the president of Huawei’s Honor brand spent the majority of his time on stage speaking about the improvements to the Honor 6X smartphone’s battery life. Asus proudly declared that their new ZenFone 3 Zoom features an enormous 5000MaH battery that they claim will last up to 42 full days on standby without recharging. Qualcomm explained the entire design of their new Snapdragon 835 processor (which will be part of many new phones) is designed almost entirely around maximizing battery life in every possible way. HP got in on the act with a new 15-inch Spectre X360 that boasts a bigger battery life as its main leap forward from the previous model.
A survey often touted at CES 2017 claims that battery life improvements are by far the most often requested upgrade of mobile device consumers, coming in at more than double the number of the second place finisher “shatterproof screens.”
“Consumers use these devices all day long,” says Avi Greengart, of Current Analysis, “and are using more of the capabilities—the camera, GPS, background data, streaming.” Snapchat, FaceTime, Pokémon Go and many other aps are chasing greater functionality with little regard for the amount of power they require beyond the needs of traditional phone calls and text messaging. “The camera takes up a larger portion of the battery,” said Randall Grilli, of Asus. “The flash takes up a lot, too, more than people think.”
Others made the inference that the maturation of the app markets and phone functionality are causing manufacturers to focus now on more mundane but perhaps even more important aspects of mobile connectivity. “Devices are mature enough now in other ways that differentiation can shift to things like battery life that have been kept at parity while working on other things,” said Jan Dawson, of Jackdaw Research.”
From a hosting and e-commerce perspective, one thing is becoming abundantly clear. The rise of mobile is still far from over, and the move toward an always on mobile apparatus for consumers is likely to make responsive design, mobile load speeds, CDN services and mobile data security even more essential to the continued health of any every business.