Samsung expanding partnership with LG

08-Feb-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Samsung and LG, have long been considered “frenemies” given their competitive history in key markets. Both have been trying to outpace one another in smartphone, TV and home appliance sales.

The word “frenemy” ? a portmanteau of ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ ? seems to denote a sense of intense rivalry. However, it seems more and more that Korea’s tech giants are seeking out strategies that are mutually beneficial to avoid undercutting one another.

Samsung’s mobile division has chosen LG Chem as its main battery cell supplier for its soon-to-be-announced new flagship phone ? the Galaxy S20 ? sources familiar with the issue said Thursday.

Despite the agreement, Samsung will retain its battery unit ? Samsung SDI ? in its supply chain as it plans to procure a “substantial amount of battery cells” from the unit in the coming years, according to a spokesman.

“LG Chem will supply battery cells manufactured in LG’s battery plant in Nanjing, China, to Samsung Electronics. The LG product will be used in a wider range of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S20 lineup from the high-end to the low-end S20 version,” said one inside source, asking for anonimity.

The estimated value over the deal is unknown. Regarding the issue, LG Chem spokesman C.S. Song declined to comment and Samsung Electronics officials said the company doesn’t normally talk about “client-oriented” matters.

The Galaxy S20 requires a battery with a capacity of 4,000 mAh (4,000 hours of use at 1 mA of current). An average smartphone needs a battery that can supply 400 mA to 500 mA when using data-intensive social networks such as Facebook and Instagram or phone calls lasting 15 minutes to 20 minutes. In those situations, the battery of a Galaxy S20 would last between eight and nine hours. The S20 plus and ultra models have battery backs with a capacity ranging from 4,500 mAh to 5,000 mAh.

LG Chem has been supplying battery cells to Samsung’s mobile division for the past several years. Just last year, LG Group’s battery affiliate began supplying them for Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 models.

Analysts said the Samsung-LG partnership will expand even further as Samsung’s new mobile chief, Noh Tae-moon is focused on expanding outsourcing channels to include affiliates other than Samsung.

LG Display was supplying its conventional liquid crystal display (LCD) panels to Samsung Electronics’ TV division, but the amount was small.

Samsung sold 75 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of last year, with models averaging $216 in price accounting for 90 percent of the total. Samsung said it expects a marginal drop in terms of smartphone sales during the current quarter.


Category: Korea

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