Understandably, CE makers and marketers are trying to avoid the spotlight in the battery brouhaha. At the Portable Power Conference in San Francisco recently, there was a notable silence about safety issues. Many of the companies involved in lawsuits are under orders not to discuss the problem while cases are in the courts.
Every manufacturer I queried about the battery problems requested anonymity. They all acknowledged the complexity of the portable power problems on several fronts. For example, changes in battery installation may require new packaging, revised warnings and costly training for personnel in how to handle and use the new batteries. There may also be changes in transportation rules, which govern the shipping of battery products.
Others talked about the future of battery technologies, including the development of fuel cells and other advanced systems that may be needed to power the ever more demanding portable devices. One manufacturer lamented the margins on portable power remain so thin that it is hard to justify the great expense to develop new power technology.