The starting Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 prices are rumored to be lower this year than their predecessors’ tags at launch, and one way to rein costs in has been to play different suppliers against each other and thus lower the overall bids. The battery packs aren’t a huge contributor to the total assembly cost of a phone (that would be the display) but every lit bit of fat trimming counts. A typical phone battery costs $6-$8 but when you mass produce, every bit counts.
According to Korean media, Samsung is considering using Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) batteries in its foldable phones in the future, for reasons that are as much about cost and final retail price as they are about the quality of the battery packs. The Electric. ATL is one of the leading consumer electronics battery manufacturers, as well as an Apple iPhone supplier. If the deal with ATL goes through, Samsung will be the first company to use batteries for its foldable phones that aren’t made by its SDI unit. LG was recently added to the mix as a Samsung battery supplier, indicating that the corporation is attempting to diversify its suppliers.
One way to achieve lower Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 prices yet still add new features and hardware to the phones is by replacing expensive suppliers in the chain with alternatives that are no less experienced but can produce the component for less and Samsung seems to be doing exactly that.
Samsung is trying to popularize the foldable phones niche and for them to become mainstream the bendy handsets need to fall in price at least to the level of current rigid flagships, so the ATL and LG battery supply diversification spree over at Samsung is one piece of its market penetration puzzle.