Samsung will reportedly use lithium-ion batteries from Sony for the Galaxy S8 smartphone, in addition to other two longtime suppliers such as Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology.
The company has apparently told Samsung SDI, a Samsung subsidiary, and Amperex that there would be another battery supplier. But the orders from Sony are relatively small in quantity, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. In a call with analysts last month, Samsung SDI said it would supply batteries for the S8.
Sony will initially book revenue from the Galaxy S8 battery deal, the sources told WSJ, although it's not a large amount.
Using Sony's battery wouldn't guarantee the safety standards of Samsung devices, believe analysts, because the design of the device is also responsible for overheating.
Even after adding Sony in the battery suppliers' list, it is unlikely that Samsung would stop buying batteries from Amperex, because of its lead in technology and production capacity.
Keeping three battery suppliers indicates that Samsung is quite serious about regaining consumers' trust after the Galaxy S7 debacle.
After months of investigation, Samsung last month concluded that two distinct battery flaws caused the Note 7 to explode. The company claims to have consulted more than 700 experts testing over 30,000 batteries from the recalled Note 7. The batteries used in the Note 7 were from both Samsung SDI and Amperx.
Sony agreed to sell its battery unit to Murata Manufacturing for CN¥17.5bn ($154.5m, £124m). Last July, Sony and Murata entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the transfer of the Sony Group's battery business to Murata. The complete transfer is expected to be over by early April.