Feeds

Apple strangleholds worldwide battery output

Ultrathin revolution starved for power

Reducing security risks from open source software

Ultrathin notebooks may be all the rage these days, but there's one big barrier standing in the way of their seemingly unstoppable march to market dominance: Apparently, Apple has a stranglehold on the batteries needed to power them.

According to a report on Thursday by the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes, those batteries are in short supply, seeing how Apple has "booked up most of the available lithium-polymer battery capacity in the IT market."

Lithium-polymer batteries are used in the slimmest of the slim devices inciting gadget greed these days: tablets and ultrathin notebooks.

According Intel, DigiTimes reports, 40 per cent of all consumer notebooks will be classed as ultrathins by the end of next year. Of course, it's in Intel's interest to burn that number into the public consciousness, having just released new "Sandy Bridge" CPUs specifically suited for ultrathins.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini, speaking at his company's Investors Day last month, extolled the future of ultrathin notebooks, saying that they would "redefine the consumer PC experience." His presentation included a slide displaying a marketeer's dream of the ultrathinnest of ultrathins.

Intel's ultraslim 'Redefining the Consumer PC Experience'

Since Intel is merely dreaming of an ultrathin device, it can dream as thin as it likes (source: Intel)

Following Otellini's lead, Intel chief salesman Sean Maloney talked ultraslims at this month's Computex trade show in Taiwan. At that event, Acer added its TravelMate 8481 to the anorexic-notebook parade, as did Asus with its UX Series.

But as DigiTimes reports, PC vendors who have ultrathins in their roadmaps "are currently searching aggressively for new supply sources, according to sources from battery players," because Apple got to the existing suppliers first, using its $66bn war chest to lock up supplier commitments.

Apple's own ultrathin, the MacBook Air, has been selling faster than cheap beer on a spring-break beach ever since the $999, 11.6–inch version was released last October.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air may not be as ultrathin as Intel's dream machine, but at least it actually exists (source: Apple)

One analyst predicts that the MacBook Air will account for 48 per cent of all MacBooks sold this year. That's not an insignificant number, considering that Apple sold 2.8 million notebooks in its most recent quarter, a 53 per cent jump from the same quarter in 2010, when it sold 1.8 million.

You can't fault Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and whomever else for wanting to grab a piece of that action.

That is, if they can find a place to buy batteries. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.