LG Energy Solution was close to finishing the development of coin cell batteries, also known as button cells, TheElec has learned.
The company will likely compete for orders for them for use in wireless earphones such as Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds with Samsung SDI, Varta and EVE Energy, once it begins mass production.
LG Energy Solution had so far focused on pin cell batteries.
But it is now preparing to build a pilot line for coin cell batteries. It isn’t preparing to mass produce them yet nor does it have customers for them.
LG Energy Solution will likely produce samples for them this year, while mass production will begin sometime in 2022.
The company has previously supplied batteries for Apple’s AirPods 1 and AirPods 2.
According to market research firm Counterpoint, LG had a market share of 48% in wireless earphone batteries.
But this changed when Apple launched AirPods Pro that uses coin cell batteries. Last year, coin cells dwarfed pin cells in usage.
Samsung SDI last year developed 85mAh and 60mAh coin cell batteries. It has supplied coin cells to Samsung Electronics for use in Galaxy Buds.
Apple is using coin cell batteries mostly from Varta of Germany. Apple is preparing a “lite” version of AirPods Pro.
Battery makers will likely compete fiercely to win orders for the new earphone.
LG Energy Solution have prepared its coin cell batteries, from materials to production equipment, meticulously, a person familiar with the matter said. Now its focus will be on increasing their productivity, they added.