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Tech breakthrough could mean vastly improved battery life for Apple Watch and AirPods

Apple’s wearable devices, including the Apple Watch and AirPods, could gain hefty increases in battery life thanks to a new development in battery technology.

TDK, a major Japanese firm which has supplied batteries and other components for the iPhone, announced Monday that it has developed a material for a next-gen solid-state battery with far higher energy density than those used previously.

In a press release (via CNBC), the company boasts that it has “successfully developed a material for CeraCharge, a next-generation solid-state battery with an energy density of 1,000 Wh/L, approximately 100 times greater than the energy density of TDK’s conventional solid-state battery.”

This technology, TDK says, is intended to be used in “various wearable devices, such as wireless earphones, hearing aids and even smartwatches, with the goal of replacing existing coin cell batteries.”

Apple has been pushing hard into the wearables space in recent years, as the company anticipates the eventual move of most computing tasks from a smartphone in the hand to smaller and lighter devices on the body. The AirPods wireless earbuds are among Apple’s most commercially successful devices, while the Apple Watch will next year celebrate its tenth anniversary and gets major stage time at the company’s events. Both devices would obviously benefit from increased battery life, with the Apple Watch in particular frequently compared unfavorably with simpler rival devices such as Fitbits which can be charged less often.

It’s important, of course, to remember how slowly such developments tend to progress, and even if Apple shows an interest in incorporating TDK’s new tech in its products they are unlikely to appear for some years. In the meantime, you can read about the new AirPods for 2024 and this fall’s Apple Watch Series 10 in separate articles.