Apple may have already picked its iPhone 9 battery supplier


Apple's got LG in its sights. In a good way.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 8 isn’t even out yet, and already the tech world is focused on who might be supplying the various components for next year’s iPhone 9 (or iPhone 8s, depending on whether Apple returns to its traditional naming formula!)

A new report claims that South Korean tech company LG has secured the exclusive contract to provide Apple with its iPhone 9 batteries, having committed to making a big investment in production facilities in 2018.

Investing in batteries

“LG has invested hundred of billions of Korean won for related facilities and plans to start mass production from early next year,” a Korean-language report in the Korea Economic Daily said.

While Apple has previously gone with single suppliers for its various components, the news is being touted as significant because Apple normally goes for a “multi-vendor strategy.” Broadening its supply chain is viewed as a good way to mitigate against manufacturing yield problems, as well as secure competitive pricing.

Phone batteries have been in the news a lot over the last year, after Samsung’s notorious Note 7 debacle suffered major battery faults, causing a number of its handsets to burst into flames. The entire product line was ultimately recalled.

The report about Apple’s iPhone 9 also notes that the iPhone 9 will reportedly require an “L-shaped” battery. A similarly-shaped, two-cell is reportedly being used by the iPhone 8 to help bring about faster charging speeds.

Not Apple’s only battery project

The iPhone 9 battery isn’t the only battery-related project Apple has on its hands. Yesterday, a separate report claimed that Apple has teamed up with Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., China’s biggest battery maker, to develop a cutting edge electric car battery.

If correct, the resulting technology could eventually be used in Apple’s eagerly anticipated “Project Titan” Apple Car project.