Samsung is in talks with its rival LG Chem for the supply of Galaxy S8 batteries. It would help Samsung diversify its supplier base and ensure that the Galaxy S8 batteries are glitch-free. The world’s largest smartphone maker is dealing with its worst nightmare in years, as it had to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 due to faulty batteries. The Note 7 debacle is estimated to cost Samsung at least $3 billion.
Samsung looking to diversify supplier base
Citing Maeil Business Newspaper, the Korea Herald reports that the talks with LG Chem are still in initial stages. A Samsung executive told the newspaper that the company is seeking to diversify its supplier base to reduce the reliance on Samsung SDI and ATL. Samsung SDI was responsible for nearly 70% of batteries used in Galaxy Note 7.
During the first Note 7 recall, Samsung said the explosions were caused by faulty batteries from Samsung SDI. But the company was puzzled when replacement Note 7 units with ATL batteries started catching fire. Samsung engineers have yet to figure out the cause of battery explosions. It makes sense for Samsung to approach its rival LG Chem for Galaxy S8 batteries in an attempt to lower the risk.
LG Chem is a leader in battery technology
Samsung and LG rarely share each other’s components as they are fierce rivals in almost every electronics category from TVs to smartphones to home appliances. LG Chem has been a leader in battery technology. With the industry increasingly packing bigger batteries in smaller form factors, LG’s expertise in the area could help Samsung rebuild its brand after the Note 7 debacle. The deal is yet to be finalized.
Just a few days ago, Samsung asked all its employees and suppliers not to leak anything about the Galaxy S8. The Korean company emphasized that the leaks could lead to “irreversible” damages, including a huge financial risk. The parts suppliers have been asked “not to mention a single word on the Galaxy S8.” However, given the huge number of suppliers and employees, it would be nearly impossible for the company to stop the flow of leaks.
Galaxy S8 to be Samsung’s only flagship device next year
Reports suggest that the Galaxy S8 will be Samsung’s only premium device in 2017. It means the company could kill the Galaxy Note brand altogether. Analysts have warned that if Samsung releases a new Galaxy Note next year, consumers will quickly associate it with faulty batteries and explosions.
The Galaxy S8 is rumored to be available in two different screen sizes: 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch. The device is said to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 processor, depending on the region. Leaks suggested earlier this month that Samsung would announce the S8 on February 26 ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.