updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon May 5, 2008
Li-ion battery shortage
The lithium-ion battery shortage caused by a fire at South Korea's LG Chem plant back in March should be over in the third quarter of the year, an executive at a notebook battery maker said on Friday. While the shortage is hurting sales of all notebooks, including the ASUS Eee PC, smaller, lower-volume companies are hurt most, as they get least priority when supplies do become available.
The supply of batteries is expected to return to normal later this year, with battery makers significantly increasing production, said Sung Fu-hsang, Chairman of Simplo Technology, the world's largest independent notebook battery manufacturer.
If that proves to be the case, the resolution would come at a key time as notebook sales are traditionally high around September, coinciding with the start of the school year for many students, as well as the holiday season a few months away.
ASUS believes its 5 million Eee PC sales could have been even higher had it not been for the battery shortage. ASUS recently made headlines over shipping its Eee PC 900 in Hong Kong with a different battery than was sent to reviewers.