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Wednesday, May 25, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple expected to switch laptop battery suppliers

South Korean laptop battery manufacturer LG Chem is likely to run into problems securing additional orders from Apple Computer after the computer maker last month was forced to recall 128,000 of the LG Chem-made batteries.

The mishap is expected to open the door for two Taiwan-based lithium-battery specialists — DynaPack International Technology and Simplo Technology — to heighten its battery sales to Apple, according to DigiTimes.

Earlier this year DynaPack acknowledged shipping lithium-batteries to Apple for its PowerBooks, but declined to provide any forecast for total shipments to Apple for the year.

Simplo has also secured orders from Apple that will begin by the end of the year. It expects total notebook lithium-battery shipments will reach 11-12 million units this year.

According to DigiTimes sources, LG Chem and Sony currently account for a combined 60-80% of lithium battery orders from Apple and Panasonic, with DynaPack making up the rest.