From: ASAAR on
On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 12:22:50 -0700, SMS wrote:

> The Costco deal on eneloops is very good. I'm slowly replacing most of
> the batteries in devices at my house with eneloop. Wireless mice, remote
> controls, game controllers (those Wii controllers really eat batteries),
> etc.

It's not that good a deal. Most people already have an NiMH
charger, and all decent chargers are compatible with eneloops. So
the very *slow* (7 hours) charger (with only a single battery status
LED) included really shouldn't be factored into the price, nor
should the C and D cell adapters, which most people won't use. That
gives you 12 eneloops for $26.49, a fair price, but not a very good
price. If you have no use for all 8 AA and 4 AAA cells, that makes
it an even poorer deal unless you can sell some to a friend.

From: Bill Tuthill on
SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
>
> It's a trade-off to build a low self-discharge cell in terms of both
> manufacturing cost and capacity. Sanyo believed that users would pay a
> higher price and accept lower capacity, in exchange for lower
> self-discharge. If they can educate the general public on the benefits,
> then they may be right.

I believe the principal effect of the new Eneloop and Hybrid batteries
will be higher sales of digicams that accept standard AA batteries.

Before, there were two big advantages of proprietary lithium ion batteries:
small form factor, and long charge period. Now there's only one advantage.
Considered against the disadvantages of high cost, lousy availability, and
relatively short lifespan, the choice is clear.

From: SMS on
Bill Tuthill wrote:
> SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
>> It's a trade-off to build a low self-discharge cell in terms of both
>> manufacturing cost and capacity. Sanyo believed that users would pay a
>> higher price and accept lower capacity, in exchange for lower
>> self-discharge. If they can educate the general public on the benefits,
>> then they may be right.
>
> I believe the principal effect of the new Eneloop and Hybrid batteries
> will be higher sales of digicams that accept standard AA batteries.
>
> Before, there were two big advantages of proprietary lithium ion batteries:
> small form factor, and long charge period. Now there's only one advantage.
> Considered against the disadvantages of high cost, lousy availability, and
> relatively short lifespan, the choice is clear.

I doubt it, because the manufacturer always wants to make things smaller.

Additionally, while self-discharge and size were the principle
disadvantages of NiMH batteries, there are many more disadvantages that
apply to enough purchasers that a switch back to AA batteries is highly
unlikely. Many purchasers may not realize the advantages, but
manufacturers are fully aware of them. Manufacturers like to make
products that are usable by the greatest number of people in the
greatest number of countries under the greatest number of circumstances.
They also worry about warranty costs. All this is to the advantage of
Li-Ion or Li-Po packs.

On the other hand, it would be a big cost savings to the manufacturer if
they could just tell the user 'go buy some low self-discharge batteries
and a charger.' This is what they currently do on the low end P&S
non-ultra-compact cameras, and a handful of higher end P&Ss like the
Canon S5.

Steve
"http://batterydata.com"
From: Bill Tuthill on
SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I believe the principal effect of the new Eneloop and Hybrid batteries
>> will be higher sales of digicams that accept standard AA batteries.
>>
> I doubt it, because the manufacturer always wants to make things smaller.

Small cellphones are more popular than large, especially with women.

But cameras are already small enough, and if anything the impetus is to
make them bigger to fit a larger LCD screen. This differentiates them
from cellphone cameras. Look at the popularity of DSLR cameras, which are
far bigger than they need to be, especially when fitted with lenses
that can cover a 35mm film frame.

We'll see what happens -- but Consumer Reports and dcresources.com
are already plus-weighting AA batteries in their ratings and reviews.

Your prediction could be correct, but more so because camera companies
make good profit on proprietary lithium-ion batteries (I think, judging
by cost!) and consumers are impelled to just throw a digicam away
when the battery stops working, especially if the battery costs more
than the camera is worth on Ebay. Thus higher camera sales. OTOH
consumers may get sick of digicams and just use their cellphone camera.

From: ASAAR on
On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 15:23:12 -0700, SMS wrote:

> Additionally, while self-discharge and size were the principle
> disadvantages of NiMH batteries, there are many more disadvantages that
> apply to enough purchasers that a switch back to AA batteries is highly
> unlikely. Many purchasers may not realize the advantages, but
> manufacturers are fully aware of them. Manufacturers like to make
> products that are usable by the greatest number of people in the
> greatest number of countries under the greatest number of circumstances.

Then the Advantages score is AA batteries : 1 Li-Ion 0

> They also worry about warranty costs. All this is to the advantage of
> Li-Ion or Li-Po packs.

Wrong! All of the cameras that I've owned or used originally
came with disposable alkaline AA batteries. With no NiMH batteries
supplied, there's no need to provide a charger, and therefore no
warranty for batteries or chargers is needed. If a dozen people
worldwide complain of defective batteries, the manufacturers could
ship a free pack of alkalines at minimal cost. That would cost less
than covering the cost of shipping defective batteries and chargers
back to the manufacturer. The Li-Ion batteries and chargers cost
much more than a pack of alkalines, and their associated warranty
costs will be far higher than a few free packs of alkaline AA cells.

The Advantages score is now AA batteries : 2 Li-Ion 0


> On the other hand, it would be a big cost savings to the manufacturer if
> they could just tell the user 'go buy some low self-discharge batteries
> and a charger.' This is what they currently do on the low end P&S
> non-ultra-compact cameras, and a handful of higher end P&Ss like the
> Canon S5.

Yes, and some other larger high end P&Ss like Fuji's S9100 and
even some DSLRs. Funny that you didn't think of this sooner. :)