According to a Bloomberg report, Apple recently hired the former Samsung SDI executive, Soonho Ahn, to serve as the company’s new global head of battery developments. Samsung SDI, a subsidiary of Samsung, is responsible for the development of lithium batteries for smartphones. According to Soonho Ahn’s LinkedIn page, he was the senior vice president of Samsung’s “next-generation batteries and materials innovation.”
Apple currently uses batteries from suppliers, but Bloomberg believes that Apple’s employment of Soonho Ahn may suggest that the company intends to develop its own battery technology. Apple also participated in the negotiations to purchase cobalt from raw materials directly from the mining company last year, which was also seen as a sign of to self develop battery technology.
Apple has used batteries from Samsung SDI to power its own products in the past. The iPhone maker has been trying to reduce reliance on third-party components, and the notable battery technology hire suggests it may be doing the same for batteries. Apple has been working on its own MicroLED display technology for future devices, which would help wean itself off Samsung in other areas.
Prior to joining Apple, Ahn worked for Samsung for three years, where he was responsible for lithium battery cells and package development. Previous to joining Samsung, he worked at Next Generation Batteries R&D and LG Chem.
Image Via The Wall Street Journal