Apple hires a battery business executive from Samsung SDI
According to a report in Bloomberg, Apple has hired senior executive Soonho Ahn from Samsung’s battery-making business, Samsung SDI, to head the company’s battery-related projects. Soonho Ahn, who was as a senior vice president at Samsung SDI since 2015, joined Apple in December as the company’s global head of battery developments.
In his role at Samsung SDI, he was involved in the development of lithium battery packs and “next-generation” battery technology. While there is not much information about Apple’s battery projects, it is safe to assume most of them are associated with reducing the company’s substantial reliance on component suppliers like Samsung for many of the parts used in its products.
Apple signals intention to make its own batteries
Though Samsung and Apple are direct competitors in smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and more, the companies also share a strong and long-running supplier-customer relationship with Samsung supplying many of the key components used in making Apple’s blockbuster products, including the OLED screens used in the latest iPhones.
Despite the conflicting interests, the relationship has been beneficial for both the companies so far. Samsung made billions of dollars in supplying components to Apple, while the Cupertino company was able to source high-quality components at scale to manufacture its blockbuster products in high volume.
Of late, Apple has, however, decided to reduce its dependence on third-party components and is trying to make most of the components on its own to differentiate its products in an increasingly saturated market. It appears the hiring of Soonho Ahn is part of this strategy and signals Apple’s intention to make its own batteries, however long that might take.