‘Alien’ substance caused Dell notebook battery to ignite

By Julian Matthews, ZDNet Asia
October 23, 2000 7:36 PM PT

KUALA LUMPUR – An ‘alien’ substance was mixed into the production process of the battery that caused a Dell customer’s notebook to burst into flames and prompted a recall last week.

“As a result of analysis, we defined the cause of the short circuit that occurred in one cell was due to mixing of an alien substance at one production process,” said Yoshiyuki Arikawa, a spokesperson of battery-supplier Soft Energy Company, a unit of Japanese consumer giant Sanyo Electric Co Ltd.

In the e-mail response to ZDNet Asia, Arikawa did not define what the ‘alien’ substance could be or how it entered the production process. Bloomberg, quoting another Sanyo spokesperson, reported Tuesday that “a piece of metal found its way into the battery.”
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Dell Asia Pacific notebooks are flame-free

By Julian Matthews
17 October 2000

‘Flaming notebook’ harks back to Apple incident in 1995 also involving Lithium-Ion batteries.

KUALA LUMPUR — Dell Asia Pacific has confirmed that none of the notebooks shipped out of its two factories in Penang and China has faulty batteries that can cause units to burst into flames.

“None in Asia. Batteries shipped with our notebooks manufactured at our plants in Penang and Xiamen are not affected,” said Judy Low, spokesperson of Dell Asia Pacific.

She said the recall applies specifically to batteries sold with Dell notebooks shipped directly to customers in North, Central and South America from June 22 through September 15, 2000, and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from June 22 through October 4, 2000.

Models that may be affected include the Latitude CPiA, CPiR, CPtC, CPtS, CPtV, CPxH and CPxJ, and Inspiron 3700 and 3800.

Dell Computer Corporation recalled 27,000 suspect batteries Friday after one US corporate customer reported a battery in a Dell notebook short-circuiting in a puff of smoke and catching fire. No one was injured in the incident.
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Dell.com: Reinventing the Supply Chain

By Anita Devasahayam and Julian Matthews


You have to hand it to Dell Computer Corporation — when it comes to the Net, the company gets it. The statistics speak for themselves. By late 1996, early days yet in e-commerce evolution, Dell.com was already raking in US$1 million in online sales — daily. Each quarter, those figures have leapt, making for great public relations fodder.

Today, while dotcoms grope in the dark in search of a small torch called Profitability, Dell’s 50 million-bucks-a-day site is a blinding beacon of invincibility. More than 50 percent of the company’s revenues are derived through the Internet. By 2001, it is projecting to grow that share of sales to 70 percent. You needn’t be a seer to predict what the ultimate goal is.

In Asia Pacific, Dell’s Web transactions hover at about US$1.8 million daily. But it wasn’t always like that. Ooi-Wong Wai Kin, vice president of information technology of Asia Pacific, recalls how in 1996 when it launched its maiden regional website in Penang, sales on Day One stood at all of four orders. Suffice to say, Michael Dell was hopping.

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Dell confident of getting 50% revenue from Net

by Julian Matthews

PENANG, Malaysia–Direct sales giant Dell Computer Corp is confident its Internet business will account for 50 percent of revenues by the end of 2000.

“The projection is a very realistic target as we are aggressively expanding our business and operations through the Internet,” said Dell Asia Pacific Customer Centre (APCC) vice president and managing director Simon Wong.

He said sales via its Web site currently accounts of 30 percent of revenues and surpasses US$18 million a day, which translates to US$6.5 billion a year.
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PC Makers Adopt Build-to-Order to Stay Competitive

By Julian Matthews

Manufacturers are touting the build-to-order model and localization as a means to stay competitive in the cut-throat PC assembly business in Asia.

Dell Computer Corp, Gateway 2000 Inc and Packard Bell-NEC Inc, are leading the way in Malaysia by using flexible configuration and local sourcing of parts to slash inventory and reduce exposure to price dips.

The three companies have benefited since opening manufacturing plants in Penang and Malacca in the last two years.

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