[MWC2019] How Battery Life is Leveraging the Device Business
Xavier Frère - CTO
Let’s have a look back at what we have seen and learnt at Mobile World Congress 2019 regarding the battery life of mobile phones. We won’t be focusing here on all the amazing use cases that are or will be enabled by 5G, nor will we speak of the great Foldables -but yet Untouchables- devices we saw. What we would like to point out today, is that all Device manufacturers we have met are looking for a key differentiated and that Battery life is definitely a major point of interest for them.
Xavier, as a CTO and expert in Mobile Device testing issues, what can you tell us about this?
During the show, we have seen a lot of Innovation on new network technologies, voice assistance, face recognition, IA, AR, IoT and the future great use cases they will bring into our lives.
There is something all these Tech milestones have in common: their impact on the battery life.
Would that mean that Battery Life is making the difference from Technical, Consumer and Business point of views?
Absolutely. Let's take the technical side of it first. When searching for key differentiators, device manufacturers worked on the screens and made them even more wide and stylish. They also worked on the hardware components (new chipsets generation, new RF bands, new sensors, multiple cameras), on the form factor constraints (glass panels, battery size) and they had to cope with tough technical challenges to overcome the achievement of these differentiators.
Even if engineering people strive to balance performance and power footprint, battery life is continuously challenged.
On the consumer's side, battery life is clearly a key topic. As an example, when asked what they considered important factors when deciding what phone to buy, battery life came first for 95 percent of the respondents (Nov. 2018 US poll that surveyed 1,894 smartphone owners).
Therefore, working on a meaningful true daily usage basis is something device manufacturers clearly need to implement when testing their device and thus making sure it will answer a real consumer usage. As an evidence, to appeal to more consumers, Nokia uses a well-tuned approach stating that Battery life is no longer a matter of hours but a matter of days.
Finally, on the business side, we noticed that all Media Labs -which are key influencers for Brand manufacturers- include Battery Life into their benchmarks, as a crucial benchmark indicator. As stated by GSMArena “right now, to be a clear success in sales, a device absolutely has to nail the basics” and as they point out, ample battery life is one of these basics.
If we saw brands during MWC 2019 showing the best Battery Life experience like for example up to a 18000 mAh battery for Energizer and a 2 days straight battery life true usage run announced, and demonstrated on Wiko booth, it’s because it remains one of the consumer biggest concern and requirement.
Our hypothesis has been confirmed in Barcelona: Battery life is a key buying factor for consumers and it’s something brand manufacturers are really placing a bet on.