There’s an interesting new study from the research firm IHS that finds that the wearables industry will quadruple its demand for lithium batteries in the next few years, while price pressures and shipment declines in other portable sectors will slow the industry down. In other words, if it weren’t for wearables, the lithium battery industry would be in trouble after 2016.
IHS found that worldwide shipment for wearable lithium polymer batteries will jump from $6 million in 2014 to $77 million in 2018. Annual shipments will reach 56 million units that year, the company said.
(What happened to lithium ion batteries? Lithium polymer will account for 73 percent of the market because they’re lighter and more adaptable, IHS says.)
IHS reported that smartphones and tablet computers currently drive the lithium battery market and will grow 46 percent from 2013 to 2015, but they expect that market to start shrinking (probably due to market saturation); along with natural price drops for technology products and components, that will put pressure on battery makers starting in 2016.