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Editorial: The One Thing that Doesn’t Evolve in the Mobile Industry

Innovation is the engine of the mobile industry. If a company doesn’t take innovative steps, whether on the design side or the technical side, it will ultimately fail to sell their products.
HTC’s previous slogan, ‘HTC Innovation’, clearly shows us that innovation is a very important aspect in various industries. But what exactly does innovation mean? Why is it so important?
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“The starting point for innovation is the generation of creative ideas. Innovation is the process of taking those ideas to market or to usefulness.”

- Yuri Ijuri and Robert Lawrence Kuhn

So basically, everything starts with creativity. Whether it’s a new starting system for your car, or the material that’s used for the back of your phone, it must be creative. The market evolves as more ideas are being brought to the table. Remember the good-ol’ space-wasting CRT’s? They’ve been replaced by ultra flat screens with enormous screen sizes. The market evolves, innovation takes place at any moment.  Now, we’re getting more to the point I want to talk about. It’s about something which hasn’t evolved for a long time in the mobile phone industry, something hasn’t been improved, and seemingly will never be improved. It is the battery.

Since the very first mobile devices, users have complained about the limitations of batteries. The currently most used battery for mobile phones is the Litium-ion battery. First proposed in the 1970′s by M.S. Whittingham, this technology has been almost unchanged every since. The batteries are getting smaller, yes. And the capacity did improve quite a bit. But it seems that the whole mobile battery market is standing still. People are still complaining that, for example, their high-end HTC device still hardly lasts for one single day. We try to find various methods, and develop various applications to reduce battery drain, but we still fail to innovate, to bring creative ideas to the table.

While the screen resolutions keeps increasing, and the processor industry grows faster than ever before, the battery market doesn’t evolve at all. Is it the lack of education, or the lack of resources that cause the standstill? Or is the chemical industry coming to an end? We definitely hope that people will generate creative ideas that will ultimately lead to the much needed innovation in the mobile battery industry.

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