Report Claims LG Will Be Sole Supplier of Batteries for 2018 iPhone

South Korea’s LG Chem is reportedly slated to exclusively provide batteries for Apple’s “iPhone 9” which is likely to be launched next year, a Korean newspaper reported on Friday.

According to a new report from Korean Economic Daily, Apple has chosen LG Chem to supply next generation batteries for its iPhone 9, to be released in 2018 with a novel compact and miniaturized design for effective integration in the overall pack.

LG has reportedly spent hundreds of billions of won to develop facilities for manufacturing the next generation batteries for iPhones in the pipeline, indicating a strong tilt in Apple’s strategy to engage the Korean conglomerate for all its future battery requirements.

At the core of that appeal is an L-shaped battery, the report says. Apple has been on the hunt for new battery technology that would allow it to deliver bigger packs in its handsets without sacrificing device size. One of the best ways to do that, the report said, is to offer an L-shaped battery.

Like every other company in the smartphone market, Apple has been in search of longer and longer battery lives. But smartphone batteries have traditionally been diagonal in shape, extending lengthwise inside a smartphone.

To add more capacity, companies need to bundle bigger batteries. But bundling bigger batteries of a rectangular shape can often force companies to change a smartphone’s design or make it bigger. By using an L-shaped battery, Apple can apparently sidestep those problems.

The L shape means Apple can wind the battery around the device’s other components and extend its size on either flange. The larger the L shape, the more battery capacity, and thus, the longer the battery life.

Still, the iPhone 9 is more than a year off and for now, the company is believed to spending most of its time focused on this year’s iPhone 8. Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 8, as well as an iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, at a press event in September.