The virtues of Li-ion rechargeable cells come at a technical cost in charge/discharge management and security -- and this translates to opportunity for those IC vendors with analog and power expertise.
To meet these needs, IC vendors have designed specialized battery-management ICs which are tailored for Li-ion chemistry -- and these have an ASP which somewhat higher than ICs for other chemistries due to the complexity and measurement precision required.
Some of these have internal memory which can be used to match the charge/discharge algorithm to a specific battery pack. Other high-end products include so-called "universal" ICs, which can, in principle, handle multiple chemistries. These tend to cost more but may simplify the BOM and product assembly if the end product is offered with a choice of battery technologies and costs (which is done with some higher-end products).
There's yet another opportunity for IC vendors, in helping OEMs prevent substandard, counterfeit replacement Li-ion battery packs from being used. This is a serious problem, where a replacement pack for a high-end product may sell for hundreds of dollars, yet you can get what seems to be a genuine replacement for half that cost or less, either online or through a grey-market source. These counterfeit packs work for a while, but have inferior chemistry, reduced capacity, faulty mechanical construction, and inadequate internal safety features, all of which lead to shortened life or serious risk to the user.
To combat this, vendors of proprietary Li-ion cells and packs -- and many higher-end Li-ion design-ins are non-standard -- have worked with IC vendors to develop various techniques for authenticating a battery pack. These range from using embedded serial numbers, to challenge-response protocols, and even to encryption techniques similar to those use for securing message contents. No matter how they choose to do it, each of these requires an IC in the battery back, and perhaps another one in the end product. This can be a distinct security IC, or embedded in a more expensive combination IC providing both battery management and authentication.
Li-ion battery chemistry is an opportunity for IC vendors, and they know it. Nearly every broad-line vendor of analog/power-centric ICs offers a family of charge/discharge management components. Even niche vendors with little visibility within the mainstream analog/power domain are promoting parts, as well. Whether all these promised ICs live up to the rigorous performance requirements of Li-ion -- well, that remains to be seen.