Notebook Battery Maker Sees Shortage Ending in Q3

Since a fire ravaged the operations of South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem in March, lithium-ion notebook supplies have been suffering as demand for notebook computers increased, hitting manufacturers hard.

At its investor conference last Friday, Simplo's chairman Sung Fu-hsang, said, "The LG Chem problem has had a big impact on supplies, but we're working with customers and they understand." He told investors that he expects the battery supply to return to normal in the third quarter, allowing makers to increase production, according to reports.

Asustek Computer, for example, said its notebook shipments for the year are being negatively impacted, according to published reports.

At a recent news conference, Asustek CEO Jerry Shen said that the shortage will result in lost sales of its low-cost Eee PC notebook. The company should hit its 5 million unit target, but without battery trouble could have surpassed it, Shen said.

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Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, which makes notebook PCs for vendors including Dell, Gateway, Apple, Hewlett Packard and Sony " predicts that the shortage will hit smaller vendors harder than larger vendors, as those with higher-volume orders take higher priority.