Sony’s Lithium-ion: Better Energy Storage for your smartphones and tablets

Sony ventures more on its battery business that concentrate on a better energy storage-system. Their goal is not just to expand their company but also to aid the most common problems of smartphones and tablets.


Early February, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai announces that the essential growth of smartphones and other mobiles call for a longer battery life. The Japanese tech giants announced that it will create a joint operation with an electric utility Hydro-Quebec, runs by a Canadian Company. Combining their knowledge in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, Sony would like to research more and develop a large-scale energy storage system.


On Wednesday, Sony stated that this type of battery could be one of the greatest demands in the future because of its energy storage system. The new company will bebased in Varenne, Quebec and will be formed in June.


Sony mentioned that they expected a higher demand for such storage because they stabilize electricity fluctuations caused by the growth of renewable energy sources like the solar energy and wind power. Another factor that highlights the need for stable energy storage system is the Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear accident in March 2011 and different natural disaster in other parts of the world.


Sony officials considered that a new storage system will be one of the growing area for its battery business. But until now, it is still unclear whether their research and development is directed to a real business opportunities. Sony Company has been supplying energy storage systems for homes and offices but this will be the first time that they will explore on the large-scale system.


Senior Vice-president Yoshito Ezure stated, “We will aim to expand our business using the technology produced through our joint development.”


Even Hirai has made a painful steps emphasized by its planned sale of personal computer, Sony still decided to continue its battery business, which is quite surprising. Analysts have said that batteries like in the TV panels are being commoditized due to the competition from the Korean. But Japanese companies are the pioneer of lithium-ion batteries. Government officials interrupted as they hoped for a better negotiation with Sony to merge its battery business with other Japanese companies to help their country maintain its competitive attributes.


For the last year’s quarter end, Sony announces their operation loss of Y23.8 billion caused by an impairment charge for its battery business. Hirai said that Sony must focus more on smartphones and tablets devices that use lithium-ion polymer. They wanted to scale down the other battery types that are being commoditized.


Sony hopes that this will help the survival of its battery business.