Samsung is reportedly in talks with LG Chem for supplying batteries to company’s next flagship handsets. Samsung is under damage control mode after Galaxy Note 7 handsets started exploding globally. Samsung’s latest flagship, Galaxy Note 7 featured batteries designed by subsidiary, Samsung SDI Co Ltd. Samsung has not been able to identify the cause for battery explosion and the company is evaluating ways to fix the issue before the launch of next flagship handset. Samsung has been following yearly refresh cycle and two flagship handsets approach. Samsung announces Galaxy S flagship sometime in February followed by Galaxy Note flagship around September. With Galaxy Note 7 having been recalled, the Korean smartphone maker has approached LG Chem to supply batteries for the next device, reports Nikkei.
Samsung recently pulled the plug on Galaxy Note 7 and said it would take a loss of about $3 billion on its operating profit. Samsung had initially blamed the sealed in batteries for fire and announced replacement Note 7 devices with green battery indicators. The replacement handsets also started overheating and catching fire soon after hitting the shelves of retailers.
According to Nikkei, Samsung is trying to cut its dependence on Samsung SDI for mobile batteries, which provided nearly 70 per cent of the batteries used with Galaxy Note 7 devices. Samsung’s move is an effort to lower the risk at time when its own engineers are unable to find a cause for the battery explosion.
For Samsung’s mobile division, SDI is not the only battery supplier. The Korean smartphone maker also sources battery from Chinese battery maker ATL. With LG Chem, Samsung will have option for three different battery sources and thus avoid risk of future explosion.
Apart from Galaxy Note 7 issue, Samsung is also in a fierce battle with Korean rival LG in the smartphone and battery manufacturing space. LG Chem is the leader in the mobile battery space and with industry shifting to packing larger battery in smaller form factor, Samsung’s move could help in the longer term.
Samsung has not commented on the report but the details may come early considering the fact that Galaxy Note 7 owners have decided to file a compensation lawsuit against the company.