According to digitimes.com, last September, part of the Matsushita’s Moriguchi Plant was shut down due to major fire damage and subsequently Matsushita, who hold 9 per cent of the mini notebook market lost more than 50 per cent of its capacity.
Click to enlarge
In March this year, a fire broke out at LG Chemical’s battery factory in Ochang, South Korea. Preliminary indications are that LG Chemical lost 50 per cent of their production capacity and will simply close the building and build a brand new facility. LG have about 8 per cent of the global mini notebook market.
Although Matsushita is expected to be almost fully recovered at this time, LG Chemical has stated that it will take about three months from for them to fully recover.
In response to the fires says the article, Sanyo, Samsung SDI and Sony are all reported to be increasing capacity as well as part of the natural course of business as demand for LiOn batteries (which are used in almost all portable electronic devices from cell phones to media players to notebook PCs) continues to grow at a substantial pace.
According to the information from digitimes, most notebook PCs use 2400mAh to 2600mAh cells. The Matsushita factory manufactured 2700mAh to 2900mAh cells, and the LG Chem plant manufactured 2200mAh cells. Therefore, it does not see a sizable impact to the notebook PC market.
However, the analysis indicates that Mini-Note PC products, those that use displays from 7.0″ to 8.9″ use 2200mAh cells and these products could face significant shortages in the near term just as sales of these products are beginning to grow at a substantial pace. There are also some industry rumors that some of the brands selling these products are looking to battery manufacturers in China for support.