Apple could build its own iPhone batteries — starting with iPhone 17

Apple iPhone 15 review.
(Image credit: Future)

Apple is a big fan of developing hardware in house, and has had a great deal of success at it — just look at the A-series and M-series chips. So what’s next on the homemade components list? According to a new report we could see Apple-made batteries powering iPhones as early as 2025.

This information comes from Korean outlet ET News, citing various industry sources. Apparently Apple is actively involved with the development of the new battery packs, even going so far as to dictate which materials should be used inside the battery’s component parts. The goal is reportedly to offer “significantly improved performance compared to the existing one”.

These batteries could appear in future iPads and MacBooks, ET News says that Apple’s main goal is to utilize the new batteries in iPhones — the flagship Apple product.

In other words, the iPhone 17 could come with significantly better battery life than the iPhone 15. Not only would this make it less appealing to pick up an iPhone 16 next year, any major boost in battery life would be something to see — especially since the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max have some of the best phone battery life around 

Both phones clocked in a respective 14 hours 14 minutes and 14 hours 2 minutes in our exhaustive battery life test. Meanwhile the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro scored 11 hours 5 minutes and 10 hours 53 minutes. That's not enough to make the best phone battery life list, but it's still well ahead of the average time for smartphones on our test; more importantly, it's better than the times produced by rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Google Pixel 8.

The report on Apple's battery plans claims that materials are being chosen to optimize battery performance, energy density, power output and stability. It’s claimed that Apple will hope to innovate in the battery material space by developing a battery that “has never reached commercial use worldwide.”

Historically the best way to improve battery life was to increase the size of the battery, though this isn’t always easy. Bigger batteries need more space, and that adds to the weight and thickness of the phone. Improving the phone’s energy efficiency has proven to be a big help, and there has been talk of implementing “stacked” batteries to boost battery capacity without necessarily taking up more space.

Rebuilding a battery from the ground up might seem like a drastic step. But considering the gains Apple made by developing its own chips, it’s going to be interesting to see what it can accomplish by taking a more direct role in the production of new batteries. And if Apple makes a breakthrough, you can be sure other battery suppliers will try to mimic that success.

Let’s just hope Apple can hit that 2025 deadline, and they don’t end up like the long-awaited Apple 5G modem. That’s been rumored for a good few years now, and it still isn’t set to arrive until at least 2027.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.