Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple working on new large-capacity battery technology for future iPhones

“New 3D sensing and augmented reality functions expected to come to the iPhone’s rear camera in 2019 will require more power consumption, prompting Apple to find ways to increase battery capacity, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Kuo, in a note to investors on Thursday, forecast that Apple will continue expanding iPhone battery capacity in 2019 and 2020,” Hughes reports. “He believes Apple’s key technologies —including semiconductor manufacturing processes, systems-in-package, and substrate-like printed circuit boards — will allow the company to create the required space for even larger batteries.”

“As for the battery technology itself, some in Apple’s supply chain believe the company will adopt flexible printed circuit board (FPCB) technology starting with the company’s 2018 iPhone lineup,” Hughes reports. “But Kuo believes Apple will instead use rigid-flex printed circuit board (RFPCB) batteries. For this he gave two reasons: FPCB requires a connector or hotbar that would consume more space, and the power integrated circuit can be mounted on the rigid part of a RFPCB with surface mount technology, which he said makes for a ‘superior battery.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While our iPhone X units usually have plenty of battery power left over each day (we wear Apple Watches which offload a lot of iPhone’s capabilities to our wrists), larger, longer-lasting batteries would certainly be appreciated.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will launch 5.8-, 6.1-, and 6.5-inch iPhones with larger batteries in 2018 – December 8, 2017


  1. I’m curious where people are and what they are doing that they need so much power. (No sarcasm. Serious curiosity.)
    If I’m driving between meetings, I’m charging my phone.
    If I’m driving a couple of hours somewhere for recreation, I’m charging my phone.
    When I get back to my desk, I charge my phone.

    What are these huge intervals of time, where people might run out of power?

    1. “I’m curious where people are and what they are doing that they need so much power. (No sarcasm. Serious curiosity.)”

      Because when you purchase a v12 engine, you don’t want it to have the power of a V8.

      1. That is not any kind of answer to my question. What do most poeple do all day? Most kinds of jobs I’ve ever had, I had access to electricity. I can, of course, visualize others where that is not true… but a roofer or Taco Bell counter person shouldn’t be on the phone anyway.

        People write about it like it’s some kind of big deal… but who are all these people who need more time on a battery charge?

    2. Hey John,
      I get what you’re saying and that is true for me as well. I’m usually around electricity all day. Until I’m not. Until I’m having a weekend in the city and doing the tourist thing. I look at my battery and oh great – 13%. Guess I won’t take any more photos or videos. Gotta make sure I have power for Uber.

      Also – Your charging habits reminded me of myself. Always looking for a place to charge. Jump in the truck; plug it in. Hey honey, I’m home: Plug it in. Always, always looking to plug it in, my family thinks I freak out if it gets down to 90% lol. And that is the problem, wouldn’t it be great it someday you had plenty of power and did not have to think so much about it. It’s a first world problem I agree. These things do so much that I’m constantly amazed so I’m not bitching. Just wishful thinking.

    3. Young people use their phones a lot – YouTube, music, SnapChat, games, etc. – as much as possible from the time they wake up to the time that they go to sleep. Charging is not always an option during the day and, even when it is, your phone is tethered via a short cable to the nearest outlet. Ideally, a battery-powered device should be usable all day long at a fairly high duty cycle without running dry.

  2. For a company selling products so dependent upon batteries, Apple should be doing major battery research. Apple could afford certainly afford to invest a lot into battery research. Acquire some small, innovative battery company with an eye towards the future, like they did with P.A. Semi.

    1. They do. So does thousands of companies worldwide. Making a better battery would be like printing free money. Believe me there are pushing the limits of current battery tech and are actively looking for ANY new discovery.

      1. Apple does cutting edge research in basic commodities? I highly doubt it. Apple has no patents, no exclusive licenses, … basically zero advantage in batteries other than volume pricing power. Don’t expect that to change under Cook.

        Cook has made it clear that Apple is a fashion shop first, an App Store second, a software developer third, and that’s all the time the executives have today. They have a meeting with their office interior decorators.

        1. Are you kidding, MO?! Apple has been a leader in energy management and pushing battery technology since they began developing the iPod. Apple pushed effective battery life to 500 cycles and then more when others were satisfied with the 200-300 cycles that was considered to be state-of-the-art a decade ago.

          I cannot speak to Apple’s patent portfolio with respect to batteries. However, Apple has engaged other companies across a wide range of fundamental R&D from cover glass (Corning) to processors (Intel) to metal alloys (LIquid Metal) to connectors to highly compact SSD configurations. Given the importance of mobile devices to Apple, you can bet that Apple is investing a great deal of time and money on safe, reliable, high performance energy storage and energy management technologies. A battery breakthrough by Apple or one of its competitors could alter the smartphone, tablet, and smart watch markets, so you can bet that Apple wants to own/control that core technology.

    1. Well, if the battery is good for the same number of cycles then, yes, it will “last longer.”

      Apple defines charge cycles based on percent capacity used. So, if you use 50% of your battery capacity each day and charge it full each night, you are only using one cycle every two days. Thus, all things being equal, a battery with a larger capacity will last longer.

      Of course, there is no guarantee that a battery with a larger energy capacity will maintain the same cycle life or be able to charge/discharge at the same rates. There are many factors that drive battery performance. But there is not reason to expect that Apple would compromise in terms of battery lifetime in order to gain more capacity. Why would Apple do that when it would be far easier simply to increase battery size using current technology?

      When Apple moves to a new battery technology, then you can rest assured that it will provide significant advantages in one or more areas such as size, weight, operational temperature range, safety, capacity, charge/discharge rates, material costs, material toxicity, recyclability, etc.

      1. If you use the term “fanboy” then you are, by definition, an unwelcome troll. The use of that term demonstrates your bias, much like “snowflake” does in the political arena. In my opinion, those who use label and disparage tactics are intellectually lazy and ossified and prone to extreme tunnel-vision. As a result, your comments are generally worthless and a waste of everyone’s time.

  3. As always, Apple is playing the long game here. Ultimately, they’re going to need a powerfully energy-dense battery to support the teleportation functionality planned for iWatch Series 162s, which I’m not supposed to talk about.

  4. Apple has sold more of one item than the multiple iPhone. Batteries! Everything portable that apple makes uses a rechargeable battery. They are even built into current wireless keyboards, mice and trackpads. What happens when Apple shifts again into an energy company? Think they won’t? They’re already one, registered with the FEC.

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