Samsung Electronics will use batteries made by China’s Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) for its upcoming foldable smartphones, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean tech giant is planning to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 2 later this year.
It will mark the first time that it is using ATL’s batteries for its foldable phones.
Samsung excluded the Chinese battery maker for its supply chain in 2017, after the Galaxy Note 7 fire scandal. Batteries of ATL, which was one of the suppliers for the phone, was thought to be the cause.
However, Samsung has since reused ATL’s batteries, which are also being used in the Galaxy S21 series.
The South Korean conglomerate has only used batteries of Samsung SDI for its foldable smartphones so far. Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Flip 5G all used batteries made exclusively by Samsung SDI.
However, it is now using ATL to save cost and diversify its suppliers. A person familiar with the matter said the Chinese battery maker received its technology from Japan’s TDK and its technology is verified.
Apple also uses batteries made by ATL for its devices. Besides the Galaxy S series, Samsung also uses the Chinese battery maker’s goods for Galaxy A, Galaxy M, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds brands.
The South Korean conglomerate is also attempting to expand its foldable smartphone shipment. To do this, Samsung needs to cut the cost of components, from displays, ultra-thin glasses to batteries.
Batteries used in smartphones cost around US$10 to US$15 per unit, according to people familiar with the matter. As foldable phones can use up to two batteries, this could burden costs further.
Samsung is expected to unveil its new foldable phones in July at the earliest. They are expected to have under panel cameras, S Pen support and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED panels.