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Mobile Fuel Cell Market set to take off next year
Posted: 15-Sep-2005 [Source: NanoMarkets]

[NanoMarkets reports 2006 is the year mobile fuel cells for mobile devices will take off projecting a market worth $1.6 billion by 2010.]

Glen ALlen, VA -- Fuel cells have long been touted as a long-lasting power supply for mobile devices, but have proved to be a promise unfulfilled. However, according to a new report from market researchers NanoMarkets LC, based here, developments in the marketplace will make 2006 the take-off year for mobile fuel cells and by 2010 NanoMarkets projects a market worth $1.6 billion ($ US) and about $2.6 billion in 2012. Additional information about the report can be found at http://www.nanomarkets.net.

NanoMarkets' report identified four significant developments for why industry watchers should take the mobile fuel cells market seriously:

* Burgeoning Power Requirements. The absence of a power source that can supply power for many hours between charges is now the single biggest obstacle to the dream of ubiquitous computing and smart phones. Nokia has actually cancelled a smart-phone product because its numerous features drained the battery too fast. Meanwhile, Japan's mobile phone makers will add power-hungry digital broadcast tuners to their mobile phone models. Fuel cells are seen as a way to meet increasing demands.

* The new "complementarity." In the past, batteries and fuel cells have been seen as locked in a battle for the future of mobile computing and communications. Today, a new paradigm is emerging. Fuel cells will be introduced initially as portable rechargers for batteries or in hybrid fuel cell/battery combos in which fuel cells provide long-lasting power and batteries deal with power spikes. Even in 2010, NanoMarkets claims that more than 80 percent of fuel cells will be used in conjunction with batteries.

* Big backers. With the fate of ubiquitous computing at stake, the heavyweights of the electronics and computing industry are backing fuel cells. IBM and Sanyo have announced plans to produce a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) for the IBM ThinkPad. Other big names that see opportunities in the budding mobile fuel cell market include 3M, Cabot, Casio, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Johnson Matthey, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

* Advances in Technology. The emergence of more efficient DMFC fuel cells that operate at lower temperatures has made fuel cell technology much more viable for mobile applications. In the future nano-catalysts and new polymers and nanomaterials for membranes are likely to make for even better energy density in mobile fuel cells.

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