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The iPhone looks like it is facing a battery upgrade in 2018 as Apple works with Korean company LGC on what is said to be an L-shaped battery design.
According to a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the new single-cell battery design will replace its current two-cell design, if it could be made into an L shape. Putting together the two current cells into a single L-shaped cell would create more internal volume to store energy.
The two battery cells of the iPhone X were built to form an L shape in the phone's chassis in order to maximize energy density in the device. It was previously rumored that the smartphone would contain a single L-shaped battery, but as it turned out, the design wasn't completed in time for the iPhone X's release.
Apple has previously produced a battery of irregular shape in order to maximize the battery life of the 2015 MacBook. Using a similar technique would give more internal volume by reducing the battery's surrounding packing.
In the report, Kuo says that the iPhone's battery life may increase by around 300 mAh or so with the new battery design. However, he points out that since the L-shape is more complicated to produce than traditional cells, they are also more expensive to manufacture.
While battery life may be increased by making smartphones thicker, various brands have found that smartphone users would still choose a thinner phone over greater battery capacity, which leaves it up to the manufacturer to maximize the available space of the slimmer designs.