Apple is expected to announce its first smartwatch some time this year after dropping several hints and making a number of high profile hires. Today, a new report from The Korea Herald suggests the company may be one step closer to unveiling the rumored iWatch after deciding to use LG’s lithium-ion batteries in its design.
“Apple will utilize LG Chem’s stepped battery since it offers better longevity than others and can be applied for different shapes,” one anonymous insider told The Korean Herald.
LG’s stepped batteries are similar to the traditional lithium-ion models found in many mobile devices, but adds an extra level to the battery’s design which means increased capacity by around 16 percent. For the LG G2, using a stepped battery reportedly gave the flagship handset an extra 3 hours of use per charge.
It’s unclear if this means Apple isn’t going through with its rumored plans to offer wireless charging for the iWatch. A recent report from the The New York Times suggested the device could use inductive charging similar to the Qi standard adopted by a number of Android and Nokia devices. Cupertino is also allegedly experimenting with solar panels that could charge the wearable device, though this technology is “years from becoming a reality.”
Apple faces plenty of competition in the smartwatch market, ranging from popular startups like Pebble to arch-rival Samsung, which introduced the Galaxy Gear last year and is expected to unveil a second-generation model later this month. LG is also reportedly developing its own smartwatch using the same flexible OLED introduced with the G Flex, though there’s no information on when the rumored G-Arch will hit the market.