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 …
I don't understand the need for "ultra-thin(tm)" hardware
If I'm carrying a laptop around I honestly don't care if it's 3 inches or 3mm thick. I still carry it in the same way. As long as it's thinner and lighter than a breeze block I don't see any need to change it. Am I the only one who doesn't understand why everything needs to be paper thin?
You don't understand the need to be ultra-cool^H^H^H^Hthin? (Oh how cheesy is the old ^H?)
Spending to shrink; compromising to concentrate; coughing up to compromise....
Oh - erm; colour me embarrassed, but I agree with you... Wholeheartedly... "They" are a toy. BUT, too many peeps lurve expensive toys - sadly!
I thought about this and the only thing I could come up with was the old sweaty-leg feeling when you have it balanced on your knees, but anytime you have any sort of 12" rectangular piece of warm plastic on your knees your still going to get moist thighs....( oh my I seem to have come over all Rob Newman's Jarvis, oh God! )
If you spend your life on airplanes, trains and in hotels, then the smaller and lighter your whole travel bad is, the better.
Your laptop needs to be strong enough for Powerpoint, maybe a demo (which will probably be a remote connection thing anyway) and email.
In theory an iPad should do it...
My hand baggage is full enough as it is. So if the machine is thinner, as well as lighter, that is very good news, leaving more room for duty free, books, newspapers, spare clothes ....
By the way, from what I have seen and heard from those with experience instead of prejudice, the Air is far from being a toy in its performance, screen quality and robustness, as well as battery life.
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
you've not used one then?
I thought similar, a laptop is a laptop.
But I've had my MBA for the last 6 months and it makes a big difference being able to hold it in one hand and type with the other, when trying to work on the train squeezed on either side by two salad-dodgers.
And even at home, being able to work while sitting on the sofa and not loose the circulation in my legs, or getting up and carrying it outside holding it between finger and thumb in one hand, still open and running, while carrying a cuppa tea in the other.
Being thinner means being lighter, and being lighter just makes life a little bit easier and more enjoyable.
plus, it looks awesome :-)
You're obviously not a middle-aged person with back problems then?
Well, not quite....
"the Air is far from being a toy in its performance"
Up until the most refresh a couple months back, bringing the MBA up to Sandy Bridge, it was running an underclocked, undervolted Core2Duo mobile chip. While not a sluggish processor (compared to Centrinos of the day), it was by no means a zippy CPU. Fortunately Apple is no longer selling netbook-esque (read: dated, slow) internals in their MBA.
Apple's graphic designers must be pissed at Intel
They've literally stolen their design for that image of their concept from Apple. It isnt just the same idea as it is exactly the same hand in both images, slightly compressed in the vertical in the Intel one. You can tell from the pattern of the 'palm-print'.
They sure look similar. Looks like they cropped the fade out at the wrist and have flattened his thumb slightly as their 'book is thinner than apples. Could be wrong, but are there JPEG recoding artefacts around the top edge too?
If I'm not mistaken
It's a stock image that starts on a blank background and allows for easy insertion of an object, in this case a wafer-book but it works equally well for anything narrow like a pen, mobile or remote. You can also get other positions such as holding a blank business card, one ready to drop something from between the forefinger and thumb or as if holding the handle of a bag. You can even pick your desired orientation and just tweak to fit. It's actually quite stunning how many pictures of just hands you can get for a nominal fee.
You know what this means? Some pol will undoubtedly try to get these images banned because they can't control their own sexual hand fetish. At least they will do it for the children because that lack of control could hit someone in the eye... hence the icon.
a title is required.
They haven't 'literally' stolen anything.
Well, one way to make it UNstock is...
blacken one fingernail, crack another, bubble a third, and remove a 4th. Oh, and stub the thumb. Add a cyst or pollop or boil to the wrist...
It'll cost some product sales, but it'll avert litigation, well, unless Apple says it's defamation of their stock artwork, hahaha...
Apple have used soft lithium polymer cells exclusively for years, even in their fat laptops where pretty much everyone else has been using safety vented cylindrical cells. I reckon this agreement with the battery makers is not a new thing, just Apple were the only significant buyers of the higher capacity soft cells up until recently and now all of a sudden demand has shot up. Give it time and supply will catch up.
So where do the flying-models suppliers get their stuff from?
Smaller market, granted. However I've no problem with nipping over to the shop in the next village and grabbing myself a hundred quid handful of lithium polymer goodness (asides me not being made of money). What about the e-car manufacturers as well? Toyota (and e-flite) could perhaps be doing a roaring trade to laptop suppliers, if the IT industry is that hard-up.
Fire because shorting a LiPo can get exothermic veeeeery quickly.
not the same
different type of cell therefore different manufacturer.
According to a recent interview with a guy from Nissan, when the interviewer said that he presumed it had been easier because of the improvements in battery tech for mobiles and laptops, it isn't that simple.
Electric cars load the batteries in all sorts of random ways that you just don't get with mobiles and laptops, which damages those batteries and shortens their life.
So the vehicle manufacturers have still had to put a lot of development and the technology isn't really much use for situations where you can predict the power usage with greater certainty because it's considerably more bulky and expensive than you would need.
That's not to say they couldn't do a side-line in mobile batteries, but they couldn't use the manufacturing capacity they've already created.
Lots Of Lithium...
It's just the non-exploding ones that are hard to find.
Li-Po instead of Li-Ion.
I Should Have Used...
...the joke icon, but: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3o_2mwRPdw
The sense i get from the RC fora is that there is a greater risk with cheaper batteries, just as with Li-Ion.
Direct quote from
"...any rechargeable battery that is currently on the market has a small risk of explosion, fire, and smoke emission if not handled properly. Lithium (LiPo) batteries are no different, neither are they fundamentally unsafe."
It's a funny old world when being the biggest buying rather than the biggest seller gets you called a "monopoly".
The difference between Apple and the rest is that they're willing to go to suppliers and say "we'll take umpty-million of your product next year and, oh, if you don't have the factory capacity for that then here's some cash now to build the factory with".
It's not only the cash that's the difference, it's also the willingness to commit to buying a huge quantity. For most companies that'd be asking to be left with warehouses of unsold product.
And even then, there are usually shortages of new Apple kit.
"It's a funny old world when being the biggest buying rather than the biggest seller gets you called a "monopoly"."
It's because not many people have heard of the word 'monopsonist'.
Some what hypsochritical (and not jsut teh above post)
When Microsoft do some thing like this it's all "they're evil and using their monopolistic power to dominate", but when Apple are doing the same they are praised for foresight and commitment
Surely that charge would only apply if one of two conditions were also met:
1. Apple were reselling the units at a grossly inflated price
2. Apple were stockpiling the units with no intention to use them
Franky I can't see either, they're surely just going to push end user kit out of the door with the batteries in them.
Capacity is sure to catch up with demand, but honestly, if if were your business, would you scale back production rather than use your long standing relationships with suppliers to maintain output, so so your competitors get a "fair share"?
Given that the rumour mill on here is talking about doubling of MBA volumes in Q3, I have hunch they'll need all the batteries they can get.
All Right, Time to invade Bolivia
Their illicit supply of coke is used to feed terrorism!!!
We need to invade them. ASAP.
Bet Samsung will
Keep plenty for their own usage, rumour has it they might not be best friends with Apple this week :-)
He who pays the piper, picks the tune.
Batter me senseless now please..
Ye gods but that is a sexy looking bit of kit..
Can't wait to see the first ones go bang after it gets sat on or squashed in hand luggage.
...you've clearly not used or seen one. They're incredibly tough little units, what with being made from of aluminium. Sure there is a tiny amount of flex in the screen when compared to the normal Macbooks but they're so much tougher than your average laptop it's unfair for other manufacturers!
Re: Once more..
Ah, so you've seen one of these non-existant Intel concept designs in the flesh, despite the fact that they only exist in Photoshop?
..and how long until Apple patent that as well?
The problem is the raw materials
There is actually an almighty battle going on around a Canadian company which has made the biggest find in the heavy rare earth metals required for making batteries and i sheading for exploitation. Everyone + dog is trying to make sure the Chinese don't gain control over it..
The problems is...
...cheap Chinese raw materials. The U.S. is starting to open mines back up for 'rare earth' material, as has just about anyone else with a mine. The reason China has such a lock is because they were undercutting everyone (it's not slave labor if you house and feed your workers). After their little stint with Japan, production has been shifted back to other countries (Japan didn't like Chinese politics toying with the Japanese economy). It's the demand that will drive mines to re-open because companies will be willing to pay more to get said materials if they'll continue to make some profit rather than none.
This find is special..
The interesting thing about this find is that it is actually on a site near a location where originally iron ore was mined. This means that infrastructure is there already, and it's anyway in a very accessible place which drives down mining costs (you still have to do chemical extraction). It's not in some remote, lawless place without any infrastructure..
I find it fascinating to watch this work out..
> its not slave labor[sic]
Call me Mr Pedant, but isn't slave labour always housed and fed?
insert something negative about Apple
Apple is currently the only PC brand that largely adopts lithium-polymer batteries for its products, while HP, Acer and Asustek only have a small amount of ultra-thin models using the battery due to low availability because of limited production capacity and expensive price. Lithium-polymer batteries are currently 60% more expensive than traditional 18650 drum-type batteries, the sources added.