LG rumored to be exclusive supplier of L-shaped batteries for 2018 iPhones

A new rumor Friday from the Korea Economic Daily, citing an unnamed source in the chemical industry, alleges that Apple has chosen LG subsidiary LG Chem as an exclusive supplier of L-shaped two-cell batteries for next year’s iPhone model, tentatively named “iPhone 9”.

According to the machine-translated version of the Korean-language report, LG has already poured hundreds of billions of won in battery manufacturing facilities, with volume production kicking off early next year ahead of iPhone 9’s supposed launch in the fall of 2018.

The L-shaped battery should yield faster charging speeds, the report added.

Apple advertises iPhone 7/Plus as having the longest battery life ever in an iPhone with 21 hours of 3G talk time, approximately 15 hours of Wi‑Fi internet use or up to 16 days on standby, which is up to an hour longer than the battery powering the iPhone 6s Plus model.

A teardown analysis of the Plus model of iPhone 7, conducted by iFixit, has identified a 2,900 mAh cell, a slight upgrade over the 2,750 mAh battery in the iPhone 6s Plus model.

The highly anticipated OLED-based iPhone model coming down the pike this year is also said to abandon rectangular “jelly roll” lithium-ion batteries present in all iPhones to date in favor of L-shaped two-cell battery packs, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Changing the battery shape so that it extends to one side at its bottom, forming an “L” shape, is said to permit Apple’s engineers to maximizes internal space and squeeze a Plus-sized battery into a smaller form factor device.

China’s Amperex Technology Limited has been Apple’s main supplier for iPhone batteries since after it stopped sourcing batteries from Samsung subsidiary Samsung SDI in 2013.