CNN Money Makes Much Ado About MacBook Air Batteries

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Sales of Appleis new MacBook Air ultra-thin laptop could be limited because of the lack of a user-replaceable battery, according to an article at CNN Money. Citing analysts and company execs at third party battery companies, the article said that many consumers like to be able to replace their own batteries, especially the road warriors at whom the MacBook Air is aimed.

"A business user would find that completely unacceptable," longtime Apple analyst Roger Kay told the media outlet. "Most of the people I know who travel a lot carry multiple batteries." He also acknowledged, though, that the Air, "is a great design statement. Itis very elegant."

Apple has stressed from the beginning that it was design issues that led to the Airis battery choice, and the article cited an Apple spokesperson who said that few people have actually bought extra batteries for their laptops from Apple. Itis all about the design, with the implication that having the battery enclosed allows the Air to be thinner.

Mark Fleig, director of marketing for third party battery replacement company Batteries.com, sees right through Appleis nefarious plans, however. He told CNN Money that Appleis intent with the MacBook Air battery might have been to make it proprietary so that it can keep all the revenue generated by selling replacement batteries.

This, despite the fact that Apple will replace the battery without charging labor. The article has some equally insightful comments from another third party battery company employee.

Perhaps most interesting is a comparison to Lenovois ThinkPad X300, a thin computer that Lenovo has been marketing as also-thin-enough-to-fit-in-an-envelope. CNN Money points out that that the ThinkPad X300 has a user-replaceable battery, a DVD drive, and an Ethernet port, but does not point out that itis thicker than the Air (.73-.92" thick compared to the Airis .16-.76"), something that backs up Appleis claim of form-over-function. The article does, however, point out that the X300 costs more than the Air, in part because it has only a solid-state hard drive option.

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