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Are most batteries built into smartphones (e.g. iPhone) single cell batteries?

If so, why might that be?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question seems to lack any research. Did you think to say look at the battery type used in an iPhone and check what the voltage specs are versus the per-cell voltage for that chemistry type? \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Mar 29 '16 at 12:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is quite literally what it says. I could not find any resources that definitively claim that smartphone batteries have 1 cell or multiple cells. I also don't want to dismantle my phone's battery to figure out if it's single cell. 2 lipo cells in parallel can be 3.7v... \$\endgroup\$
    – freefood89
    Mar 29 '16 at 12:09
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Yes, most smartphones have a single cell battery.

Most of the components on the smartphone mother board are low powered and run on voltages lower than the typical 3.7V provided by a single lithium ion cell. Hence a series combination of multiple cells is not worth it at all.

Having a parallel combination of cells is also not useful because of the additional complication of balancing the cell voltages. A multi cell system would require cell voltage balancing for the sake of safety and longevity of the cells.

Also, a balancing circuitry would not only add to the hardware costs of the smartphone manufacturer, but would also make the phone heavy and slightly more expensive. The balancing would also increase the charging time of the phone.

All of these issues with multi cell batteries work in favor of having a single cell battery in smartphones.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Late 2017 update folks, The iPhone X packs in two cells. They've probably done this for better space management and have chosen to integrate the balancing circuitry as a tradeoff for this. Check this link - ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+X+Teardown/98975#s182778 \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19 '17 at 10:03

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