Duracell powers down notebook batteries

Duracell has announced that, after five years, it is getting out of the notebook PC battery business.

Officials at the Bethel, Conn., company cited the lack of a consumer market for notebook batteries as the reason to pull out.

"We determined that the consumer retail marketplace for notebook batteries has not materialized," said Lon Conklin, Duracell's director of advanced business development, on Tuesday. "Duracell is a very consumer company. Just about every battery we make is sold through the retail channel."

The company, which makes lithium ion and nickel metal hydride batteries for vendors such as Acer America Corp., Hitachi PC Corp., Canon Computer Systems Inc. and Epson America Inc., will phase out its operations by December of this year.

However, Duracell won't be entirely out of the picture for notebook batteries.

The company has plans to license its PowerSmart technology, which allows a notebook's operating system to manage the discharge of a battery, making for more efficient operation, Conklin said.

Duracell is also a member of SMS, the smart battery standardization initiative, a cross-industry group that is working to develop a standard-sized battery for notebook PCs.