Battery recall to impact holiday laptop sales

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Battery recall to impact holiday laptop sales

IDC predicts marketshare shifts as users lose faith in their existing vendors.

Last autumn's notebook battery recall is likely to cause a major shift in market share figures for the mobile segment, analyst firm IDC projects in a new study.

The analyst firm surveyed about 500 corporate IT buyers and 200 consumers last October about their confidence in today's battery technologies. About 15 per cent of the respondents said that they will alter their buying because of the recalls. Although they haven't lost faith in the notebook segment in general, they are likely to switch to brands that they perceive as more reliable.

"The silver lining is that most of the customers we surveyed aren't foregoing notebook purchases," says Richard Shim, senior research analyst with IDC's Personal Computing program.

"Instead, a small percentage indicate that they will alter their brand preference, meaning that vendors have an opportunity to win over new customers, forming new market dynamics."

Laptop makers in the recent months have been forced to recall more than seven million batteries when a Dell laptop caught fire in Tokyo last June. After's sister publication The Inquirer published photos of the incident, Dell recalled a total of 4.1 million batteries. Apple and other laptop makers soon followed.

The affected batteries were all supplied by Sony, which has said that the problems were caused by tiny metal particles floating around inside the battery that could cause the unit to short circuit.

Hewlett Packard (HP) and Gateway are among the notebook makers that didn't recall any overheating batteries as part of the Sony recall, but HP has done so earlier this year.
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