6:33 AM
Apple is already preparing for the iPhone 9

Even though we’re a few months removed from the upcoming iPhone 8 release, rumors involving the iPhone 9 have already started trickling in. Presumably referring to Apple’s 2018 iPhone model, a new report from The Korea Economic Daily relays that Apple has tapped LG to be the exclusive battery supplier for the iPhone 9. As the report notes, Apple’s decision here represents a slight departure from the company’s traditional operating strategy. Specifically, Apple often likes to use a multitude of suppliers for various iPhone components, a strategy that helps it secure favorable pricing while also offering a hedge against any unforeseen technical or manufacturing hurdles.

Having said that, it’s perhaps possible that the battery performance and design LG is working on is sufficiently impressive as to convince Apple to go all-in with just one supplier. The report adds that the battery on the iPhone 9 will be L-shaped, a design said to have been made in the interest of optimizing internal space, a feat which becomes increasingly more of a challenge with each successive iPhone release.

The battery that LG Chem will supply to the iPhone 9 is an “L-shape” battery, which is bent to the right at the bottom. Apple has customized it to take advantage of the space on the bottom right of the iPhone that has evolved from the development of electronic component integration technology.

Citing a source purporting to be familiar with the deal, the report adds that LG has already “invested hundreds of billions of won” into revamping its facilities ahead of mass production which is said to kick off sometime in early 2018.

Incidentally, we’ve also seen rumblings that the battery on Apple’s flagship iPhone 8 may also feature an L-shaped battery. Originally brought to the surface this past February, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo a few months back said that the iPhone 8 will incorporate a stacked logic board design that will allow for a larger battery, as evidenced by the illustration below.