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Why exploding iPhone is just the tip of the iceberg

Numerous cases of explosions of smartphones Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the subsequent withdrawal of the gadgets from the market was a big blow to the image of the South Korean company. But what now looks like a headache exactly one producer with one specific model may indeed be a symptom of a huge problem for the whole mobile devices industry. And the Galaxy Note 7 — just the tip of the iceberg.

The batteries of mobile devices began to explode yesterday. In history Nokia was a case when because of defective batteries, the company was forced to withdraw a large shipment of phones. iPhone became involved in the terrible news that the device exploded at the head of the user. Apple writes off such cases on the use of Chinese counterfeit chargers, and the truth here and not know anybody.

Last summer, shortly before the incident with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi was famous for his explosiveness.

But as Xiaomi a less known brand and is sold not as good as the flagships of Samsung, their problem has a smaller scale, but almost certainly one and the same nature. To this trio should be added, and the explosion during charging (original charger, according to the victim) flagship Samsung GalaxyS7 edge, which also added fuel to the fire of history with batteries.

But before proceeding to details, it is useful to look at the bigger picture.

In the smartphone market there is a crisis of ideas — the mass consumer do not understand why to buy a new flagship device, when it is not the newest model solve most problems.

Manufacturers work hard to find the one Big Idea that will make a welcome new generation of flagships. It may become a more advanced camera, support mobile games unreal beauty and virtual reality. All this requires from the smartphone growth in computing power and a significant improvement in the already good screens. In parallel, manufacturers strive to produce the most subtle, stylish and lighter smartphones. It seems that such tactics in the absence of alternatives, like the users, but on the level of technology there’s a catch.

And cool camera, and powerful processor, bright screen with high resolution is very energy consuming. The modern smartphone is sometimes not enough battery for a day’s work, especially if you love games and multimedia.

Somehow you can increase the autonomy software on the operating system level of the original firmware of the smartphone. But in General, the modern flagship need batteries with a larger capacity. And this idea goes against the idea of Apple to release a thinner model.

According to Professor Massachusetts Institute of technology don Sadoway, manufacturers of batteries nowadays literally have to RAM battery components to make it smaller and more Autonomous.

Excessive pressure on the plate, separating the negative and positive pole in the battery is defective the Galaxy Note 7 could make it more fragile and lead to the fact that in some devices it was just damaged in the charging process, the liquid was heated and exploded.

The history of overheating and explosions of devices of the new party suggests that maybe Samsung, being one of the leaders in the production of batteries, found the face of the physical capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in their current form, and the problem of risks to be repeated even in the new models. And in smartphones smartphones from other manufacturers.

If the scientists are right and we have reached the limits of physical capacity lithium-ion batteries in smartphones, so without a revolution in this industry is almost impossible the further development of mobile devices. They physically can’t stay all the same thin, but to become more productive and smart.

If so, then it is likely that soon the same problem will face Apple and other smartphone manufacturers. The same army of Chinese companies, which have only just learnt to take the market not only price but also quality. In China, the quality of equipment and compliance with safety standards to follow, harder than stones in a mountain river.

According to Taishi Maeda, one of the developers of the eneloop batteries and the Director of the Panasonic Energy Europe, engineers are constantly thinking about how to improve the batteries. But the industry is already accustomed to Li-ion batteries and understands how to work with them, how they behave in life where you can use them, how to optimize production costs. So most of the developments in the field of nutrition is this type of battery, not of the search for alternatives.

At the same time, according to Taishi Maeda, at the current stage of development of lithium-ion batteries a significant boost in the volume reduction and increased productivity can only give a replacement for liquid electrolytes for solid. This will reduce battery, for example, to the size of a credit card. I suppose that’s what would need manufacturers of smartphones now.

Unfortunately, these developments still do not hear anything. And manufacturers of consumer electronics continue to run forward, increasing their adaptability, bringing us into the world of virtual reality and other fantastic things on the brink of what we can imagine.

And it seems that all components of mobile devices to this mostly ready. Only industry items of food all of a sudden can become an obstacle. Although in this situation I’d love to be wrong.

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