The Top 25 Newsmakers of 2006 – Number 25: Broken Batteries

Talk about a hot market

It began quietly in April when HP recalled some 15,700 laptop batteries worldwide after getting 20 reports of overheating.

In August the issue exploded with Dell recalling 4.1 million Sony-made notebook batteries.

Suddenly, videos of laptops in flames were everywhere. The

biggest names in laptops – including Fujitsu, Gateway, Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Sharp and Toshiba – have recalled some 8 million Sony batteries around the world, giving the company’s reputation a battering.

According to Rob Enderle,

a California-based personal

technology analyst, a risky manufacturing process that other

battery companies avoided was the problem.

Sony changed its process perhaps a year ago, but there were enough batteries on the market for it to become a problem.

“It’s been a bad year for Sony,” Enderle said, that started with the continuation of controversy over its CD rootkit technology and is ending with sales of PlayStation 3 being hindered by a shortage of Blu-ray Disc drives.

Fortunately for resellers, laptop sales are still strong. We guess Sony hopes for a cool 2007.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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