Samsung is reportedly expanding the use of batteries manufactured by LG Energy Solution in its smartphones. The company plans to equip both budget and premium Galaxy smartphones with power units from its compatriot, the Korean media reports.
Despite competing with each other in several industries, Samsung and LG have collaborated on multiple occasions over the years. So this news doesn’t come as a surprise. The former has been using the latter’s batteries in its smartphones since 2019, simultaneously with solutions from its sister firm Samsung SDI as well as other third-party suppliers.
The Galaxy S10 series was reportedly the first Samsung smartphone to feature LG batteries. Subsequent Galaxy S models as well as the now-discontinued Galaxy Note series also used the Korean firm’s power units. Samsung may also expand that to the foldable lineup this year, starting with the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
However, all this while, Samsung’s low-cost Galaxy A and Galaxy M series smartphones always featured batteries from Samsung SDI or third-party suppliers such as Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), BYD, and Navitasis. Samsung is now looking to add LG to the list to further diversify the supply chain and increase price competitiveness.
According to the Korean publication The Elec, this decision may also have something to do with COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns in China. Major Chinese cities have remained closed in recent months as the world’s most populous country fights the deadly pandemic. This has halted production and disrupted several major supply chains in the tech industry. Samsung doesn’t want to be caught up in this and is looking to diversify its sources as much as it can.
LG to supply batteries for low-cost Samsung smartphones
The new report says LG will manufacture batteries for Samsung smartphones at its Nanjing plant in China. The power units will then be transferred to Vietnam, where ITM Semiconductor will assemble protection circuits and pack them. ITM Semiconductor is responsible for packaging batteries for Samsung’s Galaxy A and Galaxy M series smartphones. Once the batteries are ready, they will reach a Samsung smartphone plant for final assembly, probably in Vietnam too. This is where the company makes the vast majority of its smartphones.
This is the latest in a string of developments where we have seen Samsung’s smartphone division sourcing components from third-party suppliers instead of its sister firms. The company is also using increasingly more chipsets from other brands rather than its in-house Exynos solutions. All this is to reduce prices. The Korean behemoth needs to rework its pricing structures so its different business divisions can work more closely.