Dell places large laptop battery order with Simplo

Simplo has already won orders for around 400,000 new notebook PC batteries from Dell amid a massive battery recall prompted by fires in several laptops.

Simplo Technology has already won orders for around 400,000 new notebook PC batteries from Dell amid that company's massive battery recall prompted by fires in several laptops.

The Taiwanese company, one of the world's largest notebook PC battery makers, made the statement Wednesday to assure investors the recall will have no financial impact on its operations.

"We don't make battery cells, we make laptop battery packs. Sony has already said the problem is with their battery cells, and we're a Sony customer. We have agreements in place ensuring Sony will take responsibility for any problems with the battery cells they supply to our company," said Jackie Ding, spokeswoman for Simplo.

The initial battery order from Dell is supposed to be filled within the next few months, and Simplo could gain more orders as users respond to Dell's offer, she said.

Dell recalled 4.1 million laptop batteries earlier this week after an investigation into the cause of six instances in which notebook PCs burst into flames.

The company discovered a problem in the battery cells made by Sony Energy Tech and sold by Sony to Dell and other laptop vendors. A manufacturing defect left microscopic metal particles in a critical area of the battery. The particles can break through the lithium ion cell wall and contact a battery anode, causing the cells to short circuit, Sony has said. Under rare conditions, the battery may overhead or catch fire due to the problem.

The cells were made between January 2004 and February 2006 at Sony Energy Tech in Japan. Many were sold in batteries used by Dell and other companies, including Sony's own Vaio laptops, but Sony does not plan to issue a recall, nor would it divulge the names of its other customers.

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Dan Nystedt

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