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11/30/2006
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Battery Recalls Pushing Some Buyers To Switch Laptop Brands

While most laptop buyers are still pretty happy, 15% of buyers said recent, sweeping battery recalls will alter their buying practices, according to an IDC study.

The stream of laptop battery recalls hasn't put most IT managers and users off from buying notebooks, but it may push some buyers to switch brands, according to a new study.

Some 85% of respondents said the widespread battery recalls won't affect their future notebook purchasing decisions, according to a survey from IDC. However, 15% of both corporate buyers and consumers said it will change their buying plans.

That's enough of an impact to sway market share, especially in the corporate segment where buyers purchase large volumes of laptops, IDC analysts said in a written report.

"The silver lining is that most of the customers we surveyed aren't foregoing notebook purchases," said Richard Shim, senior research analyst for IDC, in a written release. "Instead, a small percentage indicate that they will alter their brand preference, meaning that vendors have an opportunity to win over new customers, forming new market dynamics."

In the past several months, notebook vendors including Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba all have issued battery recalls. A percentage of the batteries were overheating and even caused fires, in a few cases.

In its survey, IDC polled about 500 corporate PC buyers and more than 200 consumer buyers.

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