About four months ago, I blogged about a fire at LG Chem battery plant. Back then, we discussed its potential impact on the constrained global supply of Li-ion cells used in laptop battery packs.
Recently, I've been getting direct e-mails and comments from Direct2Dell readers like jonlijoo about delays with their notebook orders. There are also discussion threads in like this one in our community forum on the same topic. The issue? Battery availability. It is affecting our customers in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
While limited Li-ion cell availability is an industry-wide issue that affects most major PC makers, I want to apologize to our customers whose orders have been affected. Since the fire occurred in March, our procurement team has been working with existing suppliers to develop additional capacity and qualifying new suppliers to add to the supply.
Our team is also looking at alternative technologies such as Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly) batteries. Li-Poly is a derivative of the standard Li-Ion technology and is well proven in many uses. We have already been using Li-Poly batteries on some of our systems and continue to explore the possibility of using it more widely in the future.
Lots of folks at Dell understand the inconvenience the battery availability issue has caused and appreciate your patience. Please check with the sales rep on the shipping date before you make your order. We will continue to do everything we can to minimize the impact and keep you posted as the situation improves.
This availability issue was also the reason we increased our prices for spare laptop (or secondary) batteries. That means more customers are opting for a single battery. For those customers, conserving battery power is important. There are some easy ways to do it—check out this video where Tony Salinas from our notebook performance team shares some good information on how to maximize battery power.