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More than $600 million of venture capital funding has flowed into battery companies so far this year, up more than 20% compared to 2008.  The new interest is fueled by the expectation the overall energy storage market will grow to a $60 billion industry by 2013, according to a new Lux Research report.

By Jamie Marturano Technology with a shelf life is the best kind of technology to sell. Fortunately for retailers, rechargeable batteries have their limits. When the batteries can no longer hold a charge, the consumer heads right back to your store to buy more. And the old rechargeables, hopefully, are recycled, as is required by the Universal Waste Rule for Ni-Cd and lead batteries. And then there are cell phones. According to INFORM, there are approximately 200 millions cell phones in use in the United States, and 130 million phones will be retired each year. NOP World found over 40 percent of Americans

Powering Up Portable Product Sales By Natalie Hope McDonald The "unplugged generation" — that's how Winner International describes its battery users. The maker of the new Juice batteries reports that battery usage rose 50 percent in the last decade, thanks to an increased investment in portable devices like digital cameras, phones and PDAs. It means that, as more users require even greater portable power, resellers are looking to rechargeables for profitable solutions. "The technology and rechargeable battery business [in general] is really strong," said Martin Goldberg, president and CEO of Lenmar. "It's one of those recession-proof industries. When people buy new equipment, they want

What better way to check the pulse of the mobile electronics industry than go to the people who shape it? Dealerscope gathered top executives from five mobile market leaders, and asked them to provide unique, insiders' perspectives on various aspects of the industry. To help guide the conversation, we asked Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) Mobile Division Director Chris Cook to serve as moderator. The Cast Moderator: Chris Cook, director of mobile division, CEA • Loyd Ivy, president and CEO, Mitek Corporation • Steve Witt, vice president of brand marketing and communications, Alpine Electronics of America • Jim Minarik, president and CEO, Directed Electronics •

By Beth Conahan The Photo Marketing Association show will grace the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., with everything a person in the field could need or want, including power. JBRO's booth will house the product lines it introduced at CES, focusing on its digital cameras and camcorders. Armed with six different Li camera batteries, two different sized NiMH batteries and 123 camcorder batteries, it will also show off its new packaging concept, which is intended to clear up confusion in battery buying. To add to its appeal, JBRO extended its warranty on camcorder batteries to three years. Fuji Novel Batteries will show its lines

The specialty battery category offers a wide range of applications, to say nothing of sizes, shape and chemistries. These batteries include the coin or button cells, the smaller round cells and lots of other shapes. They're supplied in chemistries that include alkaline, lithium, zinc air and silver oxide. But it's a profitable category and less confusing than it looks. Demand in an aging society includes medically-related devices, such as hearing aids and blood pressure and glucose monitors. Replacement batteries for these devices alone are already close to a $400 million market in the U.S. and is growing fast. And that's even before you get

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