Soonho Ahn was the senior vice president at Samsung SDI since 2015. Samsung SDI is Samsung Electronics Co. division that is specialized in batteries. Ahn joined Apple in December 2018 as global head of battery developments, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
As revealed by his LinkedIn profile, Ahn was work was focused at Samsung on lithium battery packs, as well as “next-generation” battery technology. The report mentions that Apple has been using Samsung-made batteries in the past. Hiring Ahn is Apple’s move to distance itself and reduce reliance on third party suppliers.
Bloomberg also reports that Apple has been in talks to purchase cobalt — a key component for batteries — directly from miners. With Ahn on the team Apple could be not only manufacturing, but also fine-tuning its own batteries tailored specifically for its products.