Samsung is hoping to get Sony’s help to prevent a repeat of last year’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 omnishambles, apparently.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is going to use Sony as the third battery supplier for the upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The report cites multiple unnamed sources as saying that Sony’s battery-making division has already been contracted to make an order that is “small in quantity”.
This appears to be Samsung’s latest effort to stave off consumer concerns about the Galaxy S8 battery, after the company was forced to recall the Galaxy Note 7 thanks to battery flaws that caused some handsets to explode. Samsung eventually stopped manufacturing the phone, and began advising all customers to turn off their handsets indefinitely.
As a result of the debacle, Samsung has put in place much more stringent quality control measures, which is believed to be the reason behind the Galaxy S8’s delayed launch. The phone was originally expected to debut at MWC 2017 later this month, but the phone is now said to be landing at an event in New York in “late March”, according to the WSJ.
Samsung's ill-fated Note 7 has led to a quality control overhaul internally
Samsung’s shift towards Sony batteries will potentially improve public opinion about the company’s phones. After all, the Galaxy Note 7 battery problems were found to exist in cells from both of the handset’s suppliers, which were Samsung’s own SDI division, and Japan’s ATL.
But despite the contract win, Sony may not benefit significantly from Samsung’s custom. Last year, Sony agreed to sell its battery division to Japan’s Murata Manufacturing Co. for around £125 million. The deal isn’t due to close until July, so Sony will make some early revenue from the Samsung orders. However, it’s believed that Murata will eventually take over from Sony once antitrust regulators clear the acquisition.
Samsung’s next product launch is set to take place later this month, with the company’s MWC 2017 press event expected to showcase the long-awaited Galaxy Tab S3 tablet.
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Watch: MWC 2017 – What to expect
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