One of the most expensive components in any notebook computer is the battery. In Australia, just jumping from a three-cell to a six-cell Lithium-ion battery can add as much as $100 to a $399 Intel Atom netbook.

However, a report at digitimes.com says that due to rapid expansion by notebook makers and battery manufacturers, there is now an excess of some 25% over demand in the number of Lithium-ion cells (individual cells make up a battery) being produced.

Its reported that Samsung, Sanyo Electric, Panasonic and LG Electronics make up the top four cell makers around the world with Sanyo and Samsung owning about 20% of the global market each.

The oversupply should see the proportional cost of a notebook due to the battery fall as well as the cost of replacement batteries.

Digitimes.com reports that a high-speed cell facility can manufacture around seven million cells a month, enough for just over a million six-cell notebook batteries. Samsung and Sanyo have 30 such facilities while Panasonic and LG have over 20.

Combined, it’s enough capacity to produce over 100million notebook batteries every month. And given the excess, it means there’s around 20million six-cell notebook batteries too many being made every month – that should be enough to keep downward pressure on prices.

You’d hope…

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