Warehouse fire triggers worldwide laptop battery shortage

Burning batteries are once again causing headaches for the world’s largest laptop manufacturers.

A serious fire at a warehouse belonging to Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem earlier this month has triggered a worldwide shortage of laptop batteries. Companies including Dell and Hewlett-Packard have said that this will impact the pricing of their products.

Taiwanese computer-maker Asustek Computer, which makes the lightweight Eee laptop, said that the shortage was likely to push up prices of 40% of its product range during the forthcoming financial quarter.

Both HP and Dell have said that they are working with suppliers to secure new battery supplies. "We are aggressively working within the battery cell industry to secure additional supply of battery cells,” an HP spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

LG Chem itself said it expected to lose $85 million in revenue following the fire. It will return to full production capacity after three months, the company said.

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Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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