Samsung SDI has turned to micro-batteries for wireless earphones and plans to begin supplying to key clients within this year, the company said in a conference call after announcing its fourth quarter earnings report on Jan. 30.
Most of the capex investment for the product will center in Göd of Hungary. The firm did not mention the exact capacity it was aiming for. As of the end of 2019, however, Samsung SDI said it secured a capacity of 20GWh.
“We targeted coin-cell type micro-batteries as it is considered as the type with most promise for profit,” said Kim Hun-jun, executive of SDI’s battery cell strategy marketing department. “Beginning this year, we plan on supplying major IT and audio manufacturers, including those in China.”
The global micro-battery market is currently led by Germany’s Varta and LG Chem. Apple used LG Chem’s pin-type batteries for the AirPod1 and AirPod2. It used Varta’s coin cell batteries in the AirPod Pro.
This year, coin cell batteries are expected to have a 57% market share to surpass the 18% of pin-types, according to market research firm CounterPoint Research. In 2019, pin-type had led with 48%, while coin cell followed with 25% and polymer with 27%.
Samsung SDI’s own projections show that the micro-battery market for wireless earphones will reach 1.2 billion cells in 2025 to jump from 300 million cells in 2019.
On the back of such growth, the firm estimates its battery business revenues to climb 70% on-year to hit KRW 9 trillion.
In 2019, Samsung SDI posted over KRW 10 trillion of revenues for the first time since its establishment by growing 10.3% on-year. Operating profit stood at KRW 462.2 billion, down 35.4 on expenses for coping with the energy storage systems.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.