As smartphones and tablets are becoming hubs for online gaming, web browsing, music, and video streaming, the result is an increasing demand for high-speed connectivity. Since these high-end online games and flagship mobile applications drain the battery of a smartphone, the power consumption of phones is increasing, resulting in a high demand for power banks. According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the power banks market was valued at US$7.36 bn in 2013 and is expected to reach US$36.15 bn by 2022, expanding at a whopping CAGR of 25.9% from 2014 to 2022.
Q. How is the technology used in power banks evolving as per changing market dynamics?
Most power banks available today contain LED power level indicators. However LED indicators are often made with just four LED lights and thus, fail to show the exact power level. This has led to the need for a more precise means of indication, leading to the development of LCD displays. LCD displays show the exact amount of power remaining in the power banks.
Of late, power banks integrated with embedded USB connectors are in vogue. In addition to this, it is expected that power bank manufacturers will extensively develop smart power banks which support integration with smartphones through smart app control mechanism. For instance, the MiPow Power Tube 3000 supports integration with smartphones through smart app control mechanism. Apps such as Braven BRV Bank can monitor power levels, start and stop recharging devices, and also locate the BRV Power Bank via smartphone.
Q. What are the factors that will limit the growth of the power banks market?
Leading manufacturers are witnessing stiff competition from low-cost Chinese products. Low-priced lithium-polymer power banks from China are pressurizing leading global vendors to offer quality products at a much lower price. Additionally, the market is flooded with unregulated power banks with low-cost batteries. A lack of awareness regarding safety issues of batteries is expected to keep the sales of low cost unregulated power banks, especially in developing countries strong. This will hamper the sales of regulated, branded products offered by leading players. Therefore, the presence of low-priced products is the biggest challenge faced by leading power bank vendors.
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Q. What are recent developments in the power banks industry?
Manufacturers in the power banks industry are offering customers customized solutions so as to gain a competitive edge above other players. A case in point would be Mophie, Inc. The company launched a waterproof juice pack H2PRO for iPhone 6 that enables charging phones in the bathtub. Other customized solutions available include, power banks with hidden cameras and power banks that are designed as per customer’s specifications (size and shape). For instance, Promo Crunch, a designer of custom-shaped power banks, offers 100% customization in the design and specifications of power banks.