Samsung might be tapping into LG Chem's manufacturing capabilities for batteries in its upcoming S8 flagship, as the company faced disaster with the Galaxy Note 7 power sources.
As a reminder, the Note 7 devices featured faulty batteries that made the devices prone to explosions and catching fire.
Insiders familiar with the matter hint that Samsung is negotiating with LG Chem to secure a battery supply partnership for the next premium phone of the company. Currently, Samsung uses power sources crafted by a sister company of Samsung, dubbed Samsung SDI, as well as Chinese manufacturer ATL.
From the total number of Note 7 batteries, 70 percent were built by SDI, while the other 30 percent came from ATL.
"We are looking at diverse suppliers, including LG Chem," Korean Herald quotes a Samsung executive.
As Samsung decided to recall the flamboyant Note 7 on Sept. 15, initial reports indicated that the faulty batteries came from SDI's pool. However, later mishaps showed that replacement units equipped with ATL batteries are also prone to overheating and bursting into flames.
Looking at the number of reported flammable Note 7s, Samsung got 96 such complaints, 23 of which landed after the recall announcement of Sept. 15. The flagship is responsible for 13 burn reports and 47 property damage reports, which eventually prompted Samsung to cease production of Note 7 for good.
Speculations about Samsung outsourcing its battery orders to LG surfaced as soon as the first recall was official. However, people familiar with the procedure point out that the deal is still in discussion between Samsung and LG.
So far, Samsung deploys camera models built by LG Innotek, a firm belonging to the LG Group.
The Note 7 fallout marks an important moment in mobile history, with the largest recall of smartphones ever registered. About 2.5 million units are called back, a move which will have serious implications for Samsung.
Not only is the company's reputation dented by the scandal, but its upcoming profits are estimated to take a nose dive.
The leader of Samsung's smartphone business, Koh Dong Jin, talked to the media about the financial impact of the battery issue during a press event. Jin kept mum on an exact figure, but his words were more than telling as he estimates that Samsung will lose a "heartbreaking amount" in the wake of the Note 7 debacle.
This is why the company cannot risk another fluke in its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship, and the LG partnership for reliable batteries could be its winning ticket.