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Sony Says Recall Strains Battery Production

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the we're-it-giving-all-she's-got-captain dept.


Sony said on Tuesday that a recall of up to 9.6 million of its personal computer batteries was overwhelming its production capacity. The stated reason for making the strain on production public has more to do with warning Wall Street that they may lose market share to other manufacturers then with any sort of PSA.

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Could this finally mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16641367)

the end of Sony-Bony? WOOOOOOOOOOOT!

Re:Could this finally mean (3, Insightful)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642081)

Maybe you are saying this because you like your Dell computer. Maybe you like your Xbox 360 or future-Wii. Please realize that getting rid of Sony would only make these other systems more expensive. Your wish for Sony's death is a wish for higher prices for yourself. If the PS3 vanished, Microsoft could charge more for their products, claiming the Wii doesn't compete (which it wouldn't in some respects). So be careful what you wish for. Wired says Sony is betting the farm [] , I don't see it. The PS sold so much more than the Xboxen and 7th-gen consoles are the same fight as it ever was.

Re:Could this finally mean (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642475)

I don't want Sony to die because Sony makes the best headphones. Every pair of Sony headphones I've had are better than every pair of non-Sony headphones I've had.
In addition, upstairs, there is a Sony HDTV. Before, there was a Panasonic HDTV that broke. The repairman came but it broke again. My dad had to find the email address of the CEO of the company in order to get his money back. A Sony HDTV was bought and there have been zero(0) problems with the TV itself. (There are weird things with the image but that's due to a dodgy cable)

Re:Could this finally mean (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658155)

Your experience may not translate to other countries. I've had far better experiences with a pair of Audio-Technica earphones than with anything Sony. Their noise-cancelling headphones I bought from Japan had some funky plug that didn't work with anything (had to get an adapter for it) and their earphones either have no bass, or no treble (the first pair of in-ear headphones I bought sounded high/flat- no "deep" sounds, while the second sounded "thick" where I couldn't hear the lyrics properly to my music- that's when I gave up and tried Audio-Technica). The worst fault was when I bought a pair (different model from the first two because I had given up on that model) and the left earbud didn't work. I knew then that Sony had fallen, and it was time to stop relying on them. So what if those were manufacturing defects? the fact that I went through 3 in a row (and the noise-cancelling headphones- the funky plug wasn't a defect, I'm guessing) means that quality control sucks (at least in China, where I live- the prevailing theory among people I've talked to is that QC failures are sold where they are manufactured to make them affordable to the locals, while the good products are sold in Japan/USA/EU).

Re:Could this finally mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16643135)

Actually, I built my own computer. I don't need a laptop so I didn't bother getting one. The Wii will be the same price no matter what.

With Sony's death, it will bring an end to dangerous batteries, proprietary crap, rootkits, and expensive consoles that are in reality less powerful than the competition. Sony has never been innovative. I hope they do bet the farm and lose everything.

Re:Could this finally mean (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16708475)

Wired story turned out to be self-admittidly an exaggeration. PS3 is like 7-9% of Sony's business, said the next issue of Wired. Mag writers, eesh. Cover story about the PS3 one month and then correct themselves on letters to the editor in a small paragraph in the following month.

Hey, I hate the rootkits, DRM, high price too but I want evolution. The more mankind moves forward with tools (even if it's entertainment), the better. I really wanted to like my 360, but I still can't fast-forward MP3s ... bad design is a complete relationship killer for me. But I don't hate MS. OneNote was awesome but I think they killed that... I just hate most of their other stuff for reasons that require lots of explanation.

If the PS3 turns out to be a 105% 360, then boo.

Re:Could this finally mean (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16644099)

There's always another company in place to fill the gap.

Re:Could this finally mean (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16647745)

So you'd rather Sony didn't do the recall but rather play the American blame game on other companies or vendors - pay some minimal fines and send out enough defensive lawyers that no one gets restitution - and let people enjoy their burning cars, houses, planes.

You must be fun at parties.

Moral of the Story (2, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641375)

The moral of this story is; Don't try to cut corners on production costs. It ends up costing you more in what Advanced Business schools like to call, "The Long Term".

Re:Moral of the Story (1)

uglydog (944971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641873)

According to this [] article, there isn't anything really special about laptop batteries that would make them that expensive, but batteries ARE expensive. They must have been making some good money off the batteries. So they did well in the class about how to rip people off.

Uhmmm. (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641447)

So, what is the submitter trying to say? Do major companies do a PSA when they know that their earnings are going to take a hit?

The only PSA Sony should be doing is a warning about the dangers of exploding batteries. Perhaps the submitter meant press release when they said PSA. I always thought a revised earnings projection was more appropriate.

I think a more appropriate summary would say that Sony is having difficulty producing enough batteries and is considering the enlistment of other manufacturers to keep up with demand.

Invading Poland (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641475)

more than
first A then B then C

Boo f*#%ing Hoo!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16641571)

One would think that after what, 10+ years of developing laptops, they'd have their shit together on this part of the system.

Now, IANAEE, however I do have a better than average understanding of electricity than the average shmo, and only 2 possibilities come to mind here as to why this happened.

a. They hired someone inexperienced to pattern, and approve the design for the batteries, with very little scrutiny as to its quality or testing.

b. They decided to cut corners in the manufacturing game.

Way to stick your hand in the Bear Trap, SONY!!!!!

Buy. (1)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641661)

Because I am a mild worshipper of Buffet, I must consider his famous quote:

"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."

Re:Buy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16642075)

Jimmy Buffet is into economics now? Shit, his songs now contain subliminal messages for us to purchase certain stocks. And instead of passing the joints, they will pass the metamucil and the economic forecasts.

Re:Buy. (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16643165)

Jimmy or Warren

Cost of Poor Quality (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641755)

This is an obvious result of their poor production run that had all the internal-shorting problems. They call this the Cost of Poor Quality. If you spend all your time making replacement product for no new revenue, of course you can't make new product that earns new dollars.

This article isn't about the basics of CoPQ, but about the shareholder reaction. Shareholders may punish Sony for CoPQ, but then again, that's why you need rigorous product testing BEFORE the customer gets it. If you're not testing it but you're sending it out to multiple customers (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony Vaio, etc.), then you're just asking for trouble.

On the plus side (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641817)

If they're making loads more, the unit cost will go down so they'll sort of save money on each battery. The same way wives 'save' you money buy buying $200 shoes for $180 but hey, gotta look for that silver lining.

Boo Hoo! (1)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16641957)

They are just freaking lucky that they did not KILL somebody. Or many somebodies. Like, what if one of these batteries started a fire on an airliner in mid-Atlantic?

Worse, they KNEW of the problem for quite some time before they issued the recall.

Had there been deaths, a smart lawyer would have ripped them to shreds, and left the scraps for the maggots to fight over.

Re:Boo Hoo! (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642529)

Dell is probably going to sue Sony overthe damage to their brand name, since now Dell laptops are associated with explosions and fire

Re:Boo Hoo! (1)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642835)

And they SHOULD. But the damages are nothing compared to the suit they would lose had there been multiple deaths.

Re:Boo Hoo! (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16643177)

Take the number of batteries in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?

You would not believe.

Which battery company do you work for?

A major one.

The sad thing... (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642161)

The sad thing is that we all (the consumers) will pay in the end. Sony will increase the cost of the batteries they produce, claiming it is necessary to insure QC and a safe product. So there will be less competition in the market, and likely other manufacturers will follow suite in raising prices, knowing that demand may exceed production because of Sony's recall.

Dan East

Re:The sad thing... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16643081)

"all (the consumers) will pay in the end. Sony will increase the cost of the batteries they produce"

Only if 'the consumers' buy Sony batteries. They managed to sell so many because they were very cheap and had a name brand behind them. To make them no-explode, they'll have to be more expensive and won't be able to compete as well. So yeah, we'll probably pay more, but that's because we're getting better quality goods.

Seriously, if you WANT batteries that explode, Sony has a ton to get rid of right now. Really really cheap. Otherwise you get to pay more than previously.

Re:The sad thing... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16645019)

To make them no-explode, they'll have to be more expensive and won't be able to compete as well.

Do not taunt happy-fun battery.

So... They are making excuses..... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16642847)

Do investors really need these common-sense announcments? "Sony will loose share due to battery problems", "Apple shares fall after stock investigation", "Company X is expected to have a rise in profits due to release of product Y"......... Why? Maybe I just don't understand the stock market, but I've never seen why these things need to be said.... If you research the company you are investing in, you can usually find out all this stuff your self within a reasonable amount of time. it sounds to me like they are just trying to openly place blame on the regulatory committees instead of their own production problems....

Re:So... They are making excuses..... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16648903)

Do investors really need these common-sense announcments?

If Sony doesn't warn investors, and then does badly, then the investors sue, and claim that Sony management concealed its problems, and should have warned investors. Therefore, Sony makes the announcement for the same reason it recalls the batteries: it is expected to cost less than the lawsuits if it fails to do it.

Gamble (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16643267)

Some companies are willing to gamble with consumer safety in order to turn a few more dollars. In this case Sony is being harshly penalised for their greed, it was not a design flaw that went unnoticed, nor was it a cost cutting measure, it was a profit seeking measure. The person who gave the final gold seal to this battery deisgn before production, must either be a non-techincal Exec or an dangerous engineer.
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