Dell first reported problems with Sony-made batteries in August, 2006. But other PC makers that had purchased batteries from Sony couldn't be sure that they had a problem, since there was no guarantee that they were all made the same way, says laptop analyst Samir Bhavnani with researcher Current Analysis. Now Apple, Lenovo, Gateway, Toshiba and others have all announced recalls, but the process took months.
Before that can happen, though, the industry's bitter rivals will have to agree on a set of rules. Anthony Hilvers, a vice president with IPC, admits that the 2007 target date is optimistic. But he says "we're going to try. You have to set a date to (motivate) the industry."
**IPBiz notes: watch out for the patenting of any new industry standards.