Samsung is exploring several measures to reduce the cost of its next-gen foldable smartphones. One of those measures may be sourcing batteries from third-party suppliers instead of its in-house firm Samsung SDI. Not long ago, the Korean publication The Elec reported that LG could supply small pouch-type batteries for the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The same source is now reporting that Samsung may tap Chinese firm Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) for batteries for the Flip 4 as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
ATL is an interesting name because it supplied the batteries for the Galaxy Note 7 back in 2016. You are probably aware that Samsung had to recall the phone after mass reports of blast and fire incidents. The company later blamed ATL batteries for the disaster. It subsequently cut ties with the Chinese battery maker in 2017.
However, Samsung soon started sourcing batteries from ATL once again for its Galaxy A and Galaxy M low-cost smartphones. In 2021, it used ATL batteries in the Galaxy S21 series flagships as well. Now, the company is reportedly considering equipping foldables with the Chinese firm’s batteries.
According to the new report, Samsung is currently reviewing ATL batteries for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4. Reliability is likely not an issue since several Galaxy smartphones already use the firm’s batteries. ATL even supplies to Apple.
Instead, Samsung’s aim here is price. It is looking to diversify its suppliers for the upcoming foldables to reduce manufacturing costs. Batteries only account for five percent of the overall manufacturing cost of a smartphone (likely lower in the case of foldables). So, there’s not much scope for a huge price cut here. But, Samsung still wants to bring the cost as low as it can.
Samsung may tap more third-party companies for batteries for its 2022 foldables
Samsung has been making foldable smartphones since 2019. It has released six different foldable models so far. All of those devices feature batteries made by Samsung SDI. But this year could be different. Samsung’s quest for cheaper foldables may see it use third-party batteries in the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
ATL and LG have come up as the two possible suppliers so far. Both are existing suppliers to Samsung, though not for foldables. LG has been supplying batteries for its compatriot’s flagship smartphones since the Galaxy Note 10 in 2019. We wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung taps more battery suppliers for the upcoming foldables. After all, supplier diversity can help save money.