Print 30 comment(s) - last by Le Québécois.. on Oct 17 at 5:54 PM

And prices to rise

Over the last several months, a number of top tier companies have been asking customers to return batteries for replacement due to safety concerns. If you have been following the news on DailyTech, a total of roughly 8 million batteries have been recalled worldwide, all of which are manufactured by Sony.

However, there is good news and now there is bad news. The good news is that consumers are being protected from hazards that could cause severe damages or even life threatening situations. Some batteries were found to set laptops on fire. Fortunately, companies were quick to take action and batteries were swapped rather quickly. The bad news is that so many batteries were recalled and not enough were replaced, causing a global shortage of batteries.

Analysts are saying that battery supply is currently at critically low levels on a global scale. Despite being the world's largest lithium cell manufacturer, Sanyo does not have the capacity to supply replacement orders. Samsung SDI Co. also manufactures lithium cells but it too is running low on supply. Nexcell Battery, a Taiwan-based battery manufacturer that produces batteries from cells supplied by Sanyo and Sony said that cells are now very difficult to come by. Eric Lai, manager at Nexcell Battery said "if we ask for small amounts, we might be able to get supply, but if we order large amounts of more than 2000 cells then you can forget about it."

Because of the global shortage, battery prices are also on the rise. According to analysts, prices have jumped as much as 15 percent. IBM, Apple, Lenovo, Hitachi, Toshiba, Dell, Fujitsu, Sharp and many other companies worldwide announced recalls over the last several months. In fact, it's reported that Sony is in the process of destroying over 43 million cells as part of the overall recall. This is as much as 10.8 million batteries said Eric Yu, manager at ETI Pack in Taiwan.

Sony itself has not revealed publicly how many companies in total have recalled batteries that used its cells, and the company is also tight lipped about how much money this recall is costing. So far however, Sony has budgeted at least $251 million for the recall project. Sony now faces stiffer competition from rivals. LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's largest battery manufacturer gained several new customers that were previously ordering from Sony. Celxpert Energy Corp., a supplier for Acer and HP said "we originally bought 30 percent of our battery cells from Sony but have lowered that to almost zero because of quality concerns."

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What is the big deal?
By tlreaves on 10/16/2006 6:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Does it not bother anybody that you have a better chance of being hit by lightning than having your battery blow-up, catch on fire, smoke, or otherwise? You're more than six times more likely to get struck by lightning than have you battery blow up, and when was the last time your heard a complaint about the number of lightning strikes?

Thats 1:700,000 vs 1:4,300,000.

Give me a break with the crying about batteries. Sony decided to be nice and correct for a statistical anomaly and are getting crucified. What I don't hear about in these melting laptop articles is how well taken care of the computers were when they melted (exhaust clogged, dusty inside, ambient temp, etc...)

P.S. I'm not a Sony fanboy, just tired of media hype.

RE: What is the big deal?
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
Relax. Don't worry about the numbers. They are irrelevant. It's a political thing. Net-net who wins? Who loses? Nice correlation with international political situation.

RE: What is the big deal?
By MikeO on 10/17/2006 4:38:13 AM , Rating: 2
What is the big deal?

When Dell made the initial recall of ~4 million units...

At the moment, this looks like the largest battery recall in the history of the electronics industry, said Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "The scale of it is phenomenal."

...and the number is now doubled. I'd say that's a big deal.

RE: What is the big deal?
By Zurtex on 10/17/2006 5:23:26 AM , Rating: 2
How do you work those numbers?

Are you talking about the total number of laptop owners / by the total number of explosions.

Because that's just skewed, you seem to be saying out of the total number of recalls there have only have been 2 "batter[ies] blow-up, catch on fire, smoke, or otherwise"

Yet there have been more photos / videos on the web of individual incidents. I'm not saying all of those actually happened, they may well not have, but where are you getting this number from?

Furthermore, most of the battery recalls aren't due to hazards, just that the batteries occasionally randomly cut out when they are not supposed to, or otherwise behave in an odd manner.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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