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CIO Jury: 'Exploding' battery recall won't harm laptop-makers

But you might want to invest in a smoke detector, say IT chiefs...

The massive 'exploding' Sony battery recall will not have any significant impact on the choice of future laptop suppliers, according to UK IT chiefs.

Sony last week apologised for the problems that have led to the recall of almost 10 million laptop batteries from machines made by the likes of Apple, Dell, Sony itself and Toshiba.

But 10 of silicon.com's 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel said the fault and the recall will not have a negative impact on their future buying decisions - with some saying that the honesty of the affected suppliers during the saga has been a good thing.

Paul Haley, IT director at the University of Aberdeen, said: "I prefer to work with individuals who have made mistakes rather than those who haven't. They are less likely to repeat them."

Graham Yellowley, director of technology at investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International, said: "While this is an important issue, the reputation of the suppliers who use Sony batteries has not been tarnished by this recall. Sony, whose battery division will be affected for some time, will not suffer from customers moving away from other Sony products as the overall Sony brand has an excellent reputation."

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Others said it would be difficult to restrict the choice of future suppliers over this single incident, given the range of manufacturers affected by the recall.

Luke Mellors, IT director at Expotel, said: "If I decided to exclude suppliers based on faulty batteries, my choice after you remove Apple, Dell and Sony would become excessively limited. Additionally, choice of suppliers is based on many factors of which part reliability is only one."

Mellors joked that, as far as exploding laptop batteries are concerned, it is probably wiser to concentrate on having proper fire suppression systems and smoke detectors in place than to switch suppliers.

Russell Altendorff, IT director at the London Business School, said the battery recall will be a wake-up call to Sony and other manufacturers.

He said: "It is a warning to manufacturers sourcing from the Far East to be ever-more diligent since product liability cases may be incurred wiping out the cost savings of cheap components, not to mention possible brand damage, which may be fatal."

But Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, said the recall may have an impact on future buying decisions.

He said: "No-one wants the hassle of administering a kit recall like this, or having to reassure their business equipment users that they won

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