This year's iPhone models, including the premium iPhone 8, have not yet been officially unveiled, but we already have our first rumor regarding next year's iPhone 9.
While the recent news about the iPhone 8 focuses on its expected delay, the first story about the iPhone 9 is about an interesting new specification that involves a partnership with one of Apple's rivals in the smartphone industry.
Apple Taps LG As Exclusive iPhone 9 Battery Supplier
South Korean publication Korea Economic Daily, citing an unnamed source, reported that Apple has tapped LG subsidiary LG Chem to be the exclusive supplier of batteries for the 2018 iPhone models.
The source added that LG has poured investments worth hundreds of billions of Korean won into its battery manufacturing facilities, and will be ready to start full-scale production to supply Apple with the batteries for the iPhone 9, expected to launch in the second half of 2018.
Apple's decision to make LG the exclusive supplier of the iPhone 9 batteries is a departure from the company's strategy of using more than one supplier for various iPhone components. This allows Apple to secure favorable prices for its components as it can use lower offers made by other suppliers as leverage, while also being able to easily move forward in case one supplier encounters challenges.
It is possible that LG's reported investments in its battery manufacturing facilities pushed Apple to agree to an exclusive deal for the iPhone 9's batteries, which will be different compared to the batteries of the upcoming iPhone models.
Unique Battery For iPhone 9
Korea Economic Daily's source added that the iPhone 9 will have an L-shaped battery, with the current battery shape being extended at one side at the bottom to form the shape.
The L-shaped iPhone 9 battery, previously reported by famed Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo as a possible specification of the iPhone 8, is designed in such a way to maximize the extra space inside the chassis of the smartphone, which is made possible through developments in making the iPhone's components smaller.
Currently, the battery and motherboard of an iPhone is placed next to each other in a vertical arrangement. The motherboard in the iPhone 9, however, is expected to be smaller, freeing up space to give room to an extended L-shaped battery.
The larger battery leads to a longer battery life, as bigger capacity is required compared to the current iPhone batteries to hold more charge to power the smartphone's growing list of features.