Gartner Research

Batteries for Wireless Handsets: Do Emerging Technologies Offer a Better Option?

Published: 05 October 1998

ID: G0072623

Analyst(s): Naqi A. Jaffery


Nickel cadmium batteries, currently the most widely used rechargeables in wireless phones, are giving way to nickel-metal hydride batteries, which offer several advantages. Lithium ion, with its high-performance characteristics, is becoming the technology of choice for high-end wireless handsets. As Polymer Li-Ion becomes commercially available, it could unleash a range of wireless handset types that will benefit from its shape flexibility. Lithium-sulfur technology is being developed as a lighter and low-cost alternative for wireless handsets. Disposable zinc-air technology is emerging as a competitor to alkaline, and rechargeable zinc-air will likely be used in wireless handsets down the road. In the next few years, fuel-cell technology, which uses fuel as a power source, will compete with battery technology for use in wireless handsets.

Table Of Contents
  • How Battery Technologies Measure Up
    • Batteries Lag behind Electronics
    • Power Needs of Portable Devices on the Rise
    • Important Parameters for Comparing Batteries
  • Disposable Batteries: Flexibility at a Cost
    • Alkaline Batteries
  • Portable Rechargeable Batteries: Lack of Standardization
    • Nickel Cadmium
    • Nickel-Metal Hydride
    • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Emerging Technologies
    • Polymer Lithium Ion Batteries
    • PolyPlus Battery Company's Technology
    • Zinc-Air Batteries
    • Fuel-Cell Technology
  • Enhancing Battery Capabilities
    • Smart Batteries
    • Interchangeable Batteries
  • Dataquest Perspective

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