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Apple aims to reinvent the battery with high-performance cathode technology

View of an iPhone battery

A new report claims that Apple is looking at new high-tech battery manufacturing techniques, that could see future devices deliver significantly improved use time and battery endurance.

Apple famously likes to own the whole stack, from developing the hardware to the software, and that extends to the design of its batteries. While it has to rely on other firms to physically make them — which has been a problem with the Apple Car — it is now working on them down to the materials level.

According to ETnews, Apple is developing what it describes as an all-new battery. The performance of the new design comes chiefly from Apple "directly participating in the development of materials that make up batteries."

Apple is said to be pursuing a new composition of raw materials — nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum — to make the batteries' cathod materials.

An aim is to "dramatically increase the silicon content." Using silicon instead of today's graphite systems can increase capacity, and also shorten charging times.

However, silicon has traditionally expanded during charging and powering. ETnews presumes that Apple has surmounted this problem, though it offers no details.

"Apple seems to be working hard from the material development stage to boost battery performance," an unspecified source told the publication.

ETnews does also say that Apple is researching the use of carbon nanotunes (CNTs) as a conductive material that could improve battery performance. ETnews does have a

Apple has not commented, but ETnews industry sources say that the expectation is that the company will launch this new form of battery in its devices after 2025. Its these sources that give the publication its good track record for information, though it's less clear how good ETnews is at interpreting Apple's plans.

That's also the year by which Apple has committed to 100% recycled cobalt in its batteries.