Why are some rechargeable batteries not replaceable?

Why are some rechargeable batteries not replaceable? As in electric razors, bluetooth headsets, etc. I can see no reason for it that makes any
sense from either a technical or marketing standpoint.
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Gary Burton



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Makes sense from the marketing point of view, and in the context of toothbrushes it helps boost profits to turn the gadget into a disposable - for which, of course, you've been buying expensive replacement heads. Nice business for some.
John
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That would seem to make sense on the surface, but if there really is a free market, that just encourages me to buy someone else's razor. The only way that could work for the manufacturer is if there are some laws passed or agreements made between companies to stiffle some other company from jumping into the niche that creates. Maybe that is going on at some level.
"John Nice" <johnDOTniceATbtinternetDOTcom> wrote in message

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wrote:
| That would seem to make sense on the surface, but if there really is a | free market, that just encourages me to buy someone else's razor. The only | way that could work for the manufacturer is if there are some laws passed or | agreements made between companies to stiffle some other company from jumping | into the niche that creates. Maybe that is going on at some level.
So you would prefer another razor that is expected to last a lot longer than the lifetime of one rechargeable battery, and thus costs more at the initial purchase? It seems most consumers do not have your foresight and the manufacturers know this.
BTW, nature seems to understand: the average or typical life expectancy of various organs and components of the human body are all about the same. It would be a waste to make one part have a significantly longer life than the remaining parts that are still needed to keep it alive. This is why when most people are reaching end of life, lots of things tend to go bad at the same time. To the extent that micro-evolution will work to make future people live longer, it needs to do so across the board for all parts of the body.
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G Burton wrote:

If the life expectancy of one or more of the other components is similar to that of the battery, then there is little point in making the battery replaceable.
Making the device with a user-replaceable battery can add significantly to manufacturing costs. eg, if the unit has to be water-tight.
However, the decision is almost certainly a marketing one - to make people need to buy new razors, headsets, etc....
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Sue

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That would explain it, but I tend to dicount that reason as a major factor in view of that fact that the battery is almost always the limiting factor. Shaver heads fail quickly, although not as quickly as batteries; but there are cheap replacements for them.

That also makes some sense, but only in rare cases.

As also posted as a reply to John Nice: That would seem to make sense on the surface, but if there really is a free market, that just encourages me to buy someone else's razor. The only way that could work for the manufacturer is if there are some laws passed or agreements made between companies to stiffle some other company from jumping into the niche that creates. Maybe that is going on at some level.

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These days the limiting factor of a device's life is rarely the battery, but the technology. By the time the batteries die, the device is obsolete.
The Ipod is a perfect example. The first generation came out roughly six years ago, which is about the expected lifetime of the batteries. While the rest of the components may work just fine, these Ipods had black and white screens, 5 or 10 gig hard drives, plays only music, and that's about it. Now they can play movies and games, have pretty color screens, and longer battery life. Not many people would want to pay for new batteries when they can have something a lot fancier.

They aren't that cheap. You can easily spend more than half the cost of the razor for just the heads.

Compartments and connections for replaceable batteries add bulk, cost, as well as the old "something else to go wrong", even where waterproofing isn't needed.

Unlikely.
I used to be in the Demand Replaceable Batteries camp, but I hate to say the Ipod cured me of that. About 5 years ago I bought my wife a Creative MP3 player, mainly due to the replaceable battery. It still works fine, but like the first Ipods it has a black and white display, only plays music, and it's bulky, while the newer Ipods are tiny, fancy, and have oodles of accesories. So I got her an Ipod to replace the old one. By the time the battery dies on our new Ipods, it'll be time for new ones anyway.
CS
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snipped-for-privacy@fcc.gov says...

Nonsense.
Many (most?) of the iPod batteries died long before six years. Such batteries last two, if you're lucky. My cell phone batteries are always toast by the end of a two-year contract. Laptop batteries are good for *maybe* two years. I've killed any number of power tool batteries. My 35YO HP-45 is still useful (just replace the batteries). It would have royally pissed me off if these batteries weren't replaceable.

So you spend the other half rather than replacing them?

And save money in the long run.

You're right, buying an iPod cured a lot of people of buying products with non-replacable batteries. Given two comparable products I'll alwyas take the one with replacable batteries, even at a higher price. iPod, fooey!
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Seems to me your just hard on batteries. I have sitting here two MP3 players at 5 years old, an electric razor about 10 years old, a 7 year old laptop, a 5 year old cell phone, and a half dozen 18v tool batteries I've used heavily for the past 6 years. They all work just fine.
Of course, they don't all have the same oomph they had when they were new, but they're all still hold enough of a charge to get me by with room to spare.
All but one MP3 player and the razor have user removable batteries (they can still be replaced with a little effort), and other than the power tools I've used the same batteries they came with when new.
So, how many of these things am I going to go through the trouble of finding replacement batteries? Other than the power tools, everything has already been replaced as my primary gadget. I wanted better music players, a cell phone with Bluetooth and 3G, a laptop that can run modern software, and so forth. The only thing worth a new battery might be the laptop, if one needed it out and about. I don't. When they need it, I'll rebuild the batteries for the power tools. The rest will make their rounds at the next garage sale, then to donation.

Feel free to point out where I said that.

So, if you had an Ipod that held a whopping 5 gigs of songs, you'd spend $50 or more to replace the battery?

Did you know you Can replace the battery in an Ipod? If you don't like using a screwdriver, there are places you can go to have it replaced.
However, if you really want replaceable batteries in a comparable product, and are willing to spend more, I'll be happy to let my Creative Zen go for $400. ;-)
CS
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snipped-for-privacy@fcc.gov says...

Perhaps, but there were a *lot* of people who bought the first iPods who were "hard on batteries" too. The original batteries from my Makita 12V drill (15YO) died long ago, my one of two of the original batteries on my PC drill (~5YO) has been rebuilt and the other is getting there. I actually use the things rather than keep them as hanger queens and would be seriously pissed if they weren't *rebuildable*, mush less replaceable. Actually, the Makitas aren't rebuildable so won't buy any more of their products. Burnt once...

No such thing. If you have to stop working because the battery is flat it's useless.

You must not use them.

You act like it's a big deal to find replacement batteries. Al GOre invented this wonderful tool, called the Internet. Try it. You'd be surprised what stuff you can find for sale (like battery packs for a 35YO HP calculator).

Like I said, you're lucky to get the two years out of cell phone batteries. I've had about 50/50 luck making the contract period. I generally end up buying at least one battery after a year.

If you don't need you laptop to be mobile, why have it?

You complain that it costs half to replace a part. The implication is that you'd rather throw it away and buy new.

No, I wouldn't spend $250 on an iPod to begin with. I like toys, but iPods are *WAY* down on the list. I *certainly* won't buy any thing anymore that doesn't have replacable batteries and those widgets I do buy I look for replacable batteries before buying. Like it or not, batteries are expendables.
<snip>

Tell that to the *thousands* of people screwed in the original iPod fiasco. The guy in the next office was one.

I can buy a comparable product for a *LOT* less than that. The MP3 player I use in my truck cost $30 and takes USB sticks. I can buy a lot of USB sticks these days for $400 (just saw 2GB sticks at Staples for $15). Of course CD-R is a lot cheaper than that.
--
Keith

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+

IF (that's a BIG "if") the rechargeable cells are high quality, they will last a few years in "normal" use.
After that, the odds are that the user would just as likely want a new unit as want to screw around looking for a replacement battery.
E.g.: I have a Virgin Atlantic "Throwaway" cell phone that I paid $20 for. A replacement cell would cost me $30. I would be just as well off with a non-replacable cell and perhaps the unit might have been a little smaller.
In any case, a Solder In cell or cells is about as replacable as any other major component. If you have something like a shaver it's no big deal for a "battery repair shop" to replace the word out NiCads with new ones.

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