Apple may be working on game-changing iPhone battery tech

Posted April 13, 2017

The report from Bankhaus Lampe said that Apple is looking to replace a PMIC component now supplied by Dialog with its own custom silicon as soon as 2019. It was estimated that in 2016, Apple made up more than 70 percent of Dialog's sales and today's news had a negative impact on the company's stock prices.

Sources say that Apple has set up two new design centres in California and Germany, with 80 engineers hoping to have the component ready for inclusion in iPhones from 2019.

The trader also said Apple would need to hire more than 1,000 engineers to completely replace the power management chips supplied by Dialog.

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A source familiar with the matter confirmed that Apple was recruiting top Dialog engineers in Munich. "We do not see them remotely in a similar position", said Andrew Gardiner, an analyst at Barclays Plc, in a research note. If a battery doesn't fix the issue, then it means the problem is with the power management chips. iPhones have always been a high-end flagship phone, which costs a lot.

Shares in Balfour Beatty were the biggest gainers, up 5.9 percent, while Givaudan jumped 3.5 percent after its first quarter sales beat a Reuters poll.

Dialog Semiconductor and Apple were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. A large portion of Dialog's business comes from its relationship with Apple.

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Last week, British graphics chip maker Imagination Technologies' stock dropped almost 63% after Apple announced it would stop using the company's products completely within two years. There are still some analysts who are optimistic about Dialog's future, even as its biggest customer seems ready to pull away.

Over the past dozen years, Apple suppliers CSR, PortalPlayer, Sigmatel and Wolfson have been replaced, pushing them eventually to merge with more diversified players. A year ago the company had a $10 million investment in wireless charging technology.

However, things might change in 2018 when it decides to move power management chip design in-house as well. "It just shows the risks associated with companies being very reliant on one key contract", Dafydd Davies, partner at Charles Hanover Investments, said.

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