Samsung Replace ATL with Murata as 2nd Supplier of Batteries for Galaxy Smartphones
August 28, 2017
Batteries, always a sensitive issue with Samsung, will come from Samsung SDI and Japan’s Murata for the Galaxy Note 8. Products from China’s ATL, which is Samsung Electronics’ long-time partner, have not been used again for Samsung Electronics’ Smartphones. It seems that partnership between Samsung Electronics and ATL is becoming cool after recall of Galaxy Note 7 that happened last year and that Murata is replacing ATL’s position. Samsung SDI and Murata are going to be build 80% and 20% of 3,300mAh batteries, respectively that will be used for Galaxy Note 8. However, Samsung SDI will supply the entire initial supply of batteries. Murata Manufacturing was acquired by SONY’s battery business in 2016 and is the number one business in global MLCC (Multilayer Ceramic Condenser) markets. Samsung Electronics did not used batteries from ATL for ‘Galaxy S8’ and ‘Galaxy Note 8’. ATL has been a partner of Samsung Electronics for more than 10 years. ATL’s batteries were also used for Galaxy Note 7 that was released last year. Industries are predicting that Samsung’s replacement of its battery supplier is happening due to ignition of Galaxy Note 7 that led to discontinuation of Galaxy Note 7. Samsung Electronics pointed out battery defects were the cause for ignition of Galaxy Note 7 this past January. At that time, Samsung announced that ATL’s batteries caused ignition due to irregular asperity welding, unattached insulation tape, and thin separator. Samsung Electronics had maintained a partnership with ATL even after ATL’s batteries caused ignition of Galaxy Note 7s and was looking into adding Murata Manufacturing as a battery supplier. However ATL was ultimately removed as a battery supplier of Samsung Electronics as Samsung Electronics as ATL had different views when it came to establishing solutions to prevent recurrence of ignition of batteries. When Samsung Electronics enforced new standards for tests after the Galaxy Note 7 incident, ATL was not pleased with having to purchase additional test equipment and the meddling from Samsung Electronics.” said a representative for a different industry. ATL claims the volume of batteries that Samsung Electronics purchases was relatively small since Apple is its biggest customer.
Samsung Electronics greatly upgraded its quality management system such as 8-point battery safety inspection after it had gone through hard time due to ignition of Galaxy Note 7. Although it is relatively easy for Samsung SDI, which is Samsung Electronics’ biggest battery supplier for Galaxy series, to make investments and to cooperate according to Samsung Electronics’ guidelines, it is different for ATL. ATL is currently the number one worldwide provider of polymer batteries and has been supplying batteries to Apple for more than 10 years.
By switching, Murata has to raise production capacity and the quality of manufacturing to the level of ATL or higher. Although SONY’s battery business, which was acquired by Murata, became the first business in the world to commercialize lithium-ion batteries in 1991, its status in small battery markets has fallen recently.