Is anyone evaluating the laptop battery? My impression from those that attended was that VLNC wasn't even close to being able to mass produce it. If so, I doubt orders will be just around the corner. I hope I'm mistaken.
According to the last conference call (and confirmed offline at the meeting), there are 50 OEMs testing all types of Valence cells, and the cells are being tested for a total of 115 'types' products.
Of the 115 product types, 3/4 are laptops.
BTW, they have been able to produce enough laptop cells to deliver to any OEMs initial startup, if any OEMs were ready to launch a product. The timeline is being driven by the OEMs product design cycles.
That being said, the Klockner machine has been refitted to produce the Globalstar cells instead of the 4x4 cells, meaning that initial laptop cell production will come off the new FABLE (sp?) machine currently being test-run (after having been relocated from Alliant). This is an assembly machine capable of being readjusted via computer control to manufacture cells of any size, up to 12" even. We saw this machine in the video, and it is enormous. Perfect for doing runs of a few thousand to many tens of thousands, of a unique size.
Remember, any laptop launches will have a natural progression. By the time any new designs are in demand to the tune of 100k units or more, Valence will be putting in place the 5th assembly line, which is 'third generation' equipment from Germany capable of producing 40 laptop *cells* per minute.
Conversely, are laptop POs 'around the corner?' Well, I haven't been expecting them until summer or so. There is, however, existing production capacity for all sorts of additional cellphone, webphone, and pda device cell applications. To the tune of over $100M/year, from lines 1-3. (FABLE being line 4) So I would expect a continued procession of PO announcements as we move into spring and summer.