For mobile gamers looking to catch 'em all on the new Pokemon Go augmented reality app, running out of battery is as big a problem as running out of Pokeballs.
As millions of Americans go on long stakeouts for Pikachus or Bulbasaurs, they're enlisting the help of battery cases to ensure their phones don't run out of juice right before the big score.
According to Wall Street analysts, that's responsible for a surge in the shares of Zagg Inc., which manufactures battery cases. It's jumped 18.4 per cent over the past three sessions.
"It seems that the rise in Zagg is due to the power drain effect of the [Pokemon Go] game. Everyone is going out and buying these phone cases," Wunderlich Securities analyst Rommel Dionisio said in a phone interview, ' who noted that the firm acquired Mophie Inc. in February of this year. "Mophie has over 80 per cent market share for these battery-saving cases in the U.S."
"Our checks of various Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target and Verizon stores across the country indicated a surge in demand for power management products, including battery cases. More than 35 per cent of the [about] 50 retail locations we surveyed noted increased demand and many specifically cited the popularity of Pokemon Go," added Roth Capital Partners LLC analyst Dave King, who upped his price target on Zagg to $6 (U.S.) from $5, while maintaining a neutral rating on the stock. "We believe [Anker Technology Co.'s] PowerCore 20100 may be the largest product beneficiary, based on Reddit posts and a well-timed Amazon promotion."
Amazon reviewers, meanwhile, are raving about how these products are increasing the longevity of their gaming sessions.
"The best use of this case is for people who actually play Pokemon Go, because this case could help you to play some more hours using that battery killer game," wrote one reviewer.
To experience all the game's features, the app uses a smartphone's camera, GPS locator, graphics processor and more, according to CNET, which takes an immense toll on battery life.
Niantec Labs, the developer of the Pokemon Go app, lists "heavy battery use" as a known issue with the game, and says it is "working on a solution" for this problem.
In publicly traded markets, Nintendo Co. Ltd. has been the primary beneficiary of the game's release and stunning popularity, with the stock up by nearly 76 per cent since July 6.
History doesn't repeat itself, but – like the PokeRap – it surely does rhyme.
The last time the Pokemon went viral in the late 1990s, publicly traded companies that made merchandise related to the game, and constituted an ancillary play on the phenomenon, also went gangbusters.