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Learning English - Words in the News
25 August, 2006 - Published 08:31 GMT
Sony shares fall
A laptop

Shares in the electronic giant Sony have fallen after a second computer manufacturer decided to recall more than a million Sony batteries used in their laptops. Apple's decision followed Dell last week and experts believe other firms might follow. Guto Harri reports.

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Sony is the second largest maker of lithium iron batteries used in laptops around the world. Replacing the batteries recalled by Apple and Dell could cost the company more than two hundred and fifty million dollars and at least four other computer makers use Sony batteries in their products.

Fujitsu, Toshiba, HP and Lennovo all insist that their designs are sufficiently different to Dell and Apple, that there is no abnormal risk of fire: and Sony have issued a statement saying they do not expect any further recalls.

But investors in the company are anxious and many have been selling shares. If some laptops overheat and others do not, it suggests that the fault is not necessarily with the batteries and Sony say that variations in system configurations are relevant.

But, on rare occasions, in their words, microscopic metal particles can lead to a short circuit within the cell, causing overheating and potentially flames and that is a sober statement for anyone using a Sony-powered computer.

Listen to the words

metal objects which provide electricity

small computers which can be carried around

a product is recalled if the maker tells people that they have to bring it back to the company because there is a problem with it

issued a statement
made a formal written announcement

people who have put money into the firm hoping they will make more money from it


variations in system configurations
differences in the way the technical parts of the computers work

a short circuit
an electrical failure


a sober statement
a serious announcement

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