[THE INVESTOR] Samsung SDI said on Jan. 23 that it has poured 150 billion won (US$128.8 million) into deploying a series of new measures to improve battery safety in smartphones, including X-ray scanning techniques.
Since the first round of the recall of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 on Sept. 2, the battery-making unit of Samsung Group has formed a team of 100 executives and researchers to improve the whole development, quality control and production process.
The company said it has especially focused on addressing a deformation issue of the upper right corner of the Note battery -- one of the main causes of the overheating and explosions of the bigger-screen phone.
The X-ray systems have already been installed at the company’s production process, while the company has also increased the number of battery cell samples for testing.
Despite the Note fiasco, industry sources say, Samsung SDI batteries are expected to be deployed for Samsung’s upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 that is widely rumored to be unveiled in March.
The company said its lithium-ion battery sales have bounced back since November to a similar level before the Note recall.
“Our first-quarter sales will see significant growth,” a Samsung SDI spokesperson said, forecasting that other businesses, including those for electric car batteries and energy storage systems, will also likely gain growth momentum this year.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)