Apple poaches battery expert from Samsung

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The first iPhone XS teardown video shows the unusual L-shaped battery.
Apple hiring someone to be in charge of battery development is a strong sign future iPhone batteries could be made in-house.
Photo: FixjeiPhone

Apple‘s new global head of battery developments is very familiar with these critical components. Most recently, new Apple hire Soonho Ahn served as a vice president at Samsung SDI, a division of the Korean conglomerate that specializes in battery tech.

If Ahn’s new title doesn’t seem familiar, that’s because he appears to be the first person to hold this position at Apple.

Quite an electric resume

Ahn seems highly qualified. Before joining Apple, he was senior VP of “next-generation batteries and materials innovation” at Samsung SDI for two years. Ahn also spent a year at the company as SVP of batteries development, where his LinkedIn profile says he was “in charge of lithium ion cell and pack developments. Cylindrical, prismatic, and polymer cells for power tools, electric vehicles, ebikes, smartphones, etc.”

Before that, Apple’s newest battery guru was employed as a professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea. He “specialized in lithium ion battery science and engineering.”

Ahn holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from Auburn University in Alabama.

And the plan is …?

A job description for Apple’s new global head of battery developments isn’t available at this time. It’s not a senior management position, so Ahn doesn’t appear on the company list of executive profiles.

Just judging from the name, he could be leading an Apple project to produce its own batteries for handsets, tablets and laptops. Currently, the company outsources these components.

Perhaps this hire is related to Apple’s hush-hush self-driving car project. These could be all-electric vehicles or hybrids that will need hefty batteries.

There have been suggestions before that Apple is going into the battery business. Last year came word that Cupertino was in talks to buy the cobalt used for batteries directly from miners.

Via: Bloomberg