Solid-state batteries are expected to replace lithium-ion batteries that are currently found in smartphones and a bunch of other products in the near future. According to a report out of Korea, this is expected to happen over the next few years.
An anonymous executive with Samsung SDI (the battery manufacturing arm of the Samsung conglomerate) told The Korea Herald that the company will start manufacturing solid-state batteries in one to two years. The first application for these batteries will be in smartphones. Meanwhile, solid-state batteries for electric cars would take till 2025 to hit the market, due to the more stringent safety constraints.
“Our technological level to produce a solid-state battery for smartphones will be mature enough in one to two years. However, it depends on Samsung Electronics whether it will be used for phones,” warned the executive.
Samsung SDI obviously isn’t the only company working on the new battery technology. There are quite a few others as well including LG Chem, which will reportedly start producing them around the same time.
What’s the difference between a Li-ion and solid-state battery?
The biggest advantage of the upcoming batteries is that they are made from solid instead of liquid electrolytes and, therefore, have a much lower risk of catching fire and exploding. Battery safety has become a major concern in the last year or so, after Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was recalled due to battery safety issues.
Will we see solid-state batteries on flagship phones from 2019? It depends on how mature the technology is at launch. If it’s good enough to compete with conventional batteries in term of capacity, lifespan and charging speed, a release on a flagship phone is possible. If not, Samsung and its rivals may choose to introduce it on a lower-end or niche phone.