Digital Devices boosting demand for batteries


Digital devices like MP3 players and cellphones are proving to be a big bonanza for maker of batteries according to The Baltimore Sun.

Americans are spending more than ever on more types of batteries to power everything from watches to hybrid cars – and there’s no end in sight. The average U.S. household uses 28 battery-powered devices, according to maker Duracell. And that number is growing. Battery sales are growing at a rate of 5 percent to 6 percent a year, with worldwide sales in 2003 totaling $5.17 billion for the top three battery makers – Energizer Holdings Inc., Duracell, a division of the Gillette Co., and Rayovac Corp. Market research firm Euromonitor International projects U.S. battery sales will be $2.9 billion this year.

The article goes on to highlight the recent trends in smaller batteries and also the growing popularity of rechargeable batteries. Of course there is requisite IPOD bashing in there as well. On the future, the article quotes an SRI International scientist.

“People are always complaining about their battery running out when they’re talking,” said Subhash C. Narang, director of the product development center at SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif. The answer, he says, is a new battery that can be charged in five or 10 minutes. Such a battery is under development in the company’s laboratories and could be licensed to manufacturers and on the market within the next two years.

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