Japanese and American companies have often seemed to treat Japan as a huge testing ground for their products. This is because in many ways, as Japan goes, so goes the world. Sales in Japan can often accurately depict sales in Europe, North American, and even Australia. The newest product that is getting tried in the land of the rising sun is the new line of Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Will it be a worldwide hit, or will it never see its way to Australia except through imports?
Eneloop: In the Beginning
Almost any rechargeable battery user that takes their batteries seriously knows that when it comes to rechargeables, Sanyo set the platinum standard with their Eneloop series. They are powerful, long-lasting batteries that even retain a huge portion of their charge when they’re left on the shelf. With the exception of Vapex Batteries, very few things can compete with the Sanyo Eneloop for sheer ability. Many rechargeable battery fans were worried that when Panasonic took over Sanyo, the Eneloop might end up suffering as the proprietary technology got folded into the Panasonic line. Those that use the Eneloop often rely on it and trust it above nothing else. So the initial fright was that the Eneloop name could become lost to the ages, which would have been a travesty for the rechargeable battery market.
SANYO has announced that nothing could be further from the truth. Panasonic is devoted to using the best of Sanyo’s technology and not only are they refusing to abandon the line, but they are improving it. The chat in Japan is that in addition to the Eneloop, there will also be an Eneloop Pro line, which manage to take the battery to even newer heights. They are promising not only a better battery, but a better battery system for anyone looking to do their recharging.
This comes on the coattails of announcements made by Sanyo that they would be using their technology to create a new wireless charging pad for battery chargers, something that has enormous appeal in the heavily populated Asian countries. Their Sanyo Eneloop charger was supposed to be an inductive charging system that would work with existing Eneloop technology to charge not only batteries, but battery chargers entirely wirelessly.
Incredible Updates of the Eneloop Pro
Sanyo seemed to be waiting on the news of the new Eneloop Pro battery in part due to its Eneloop charging pad. This is because the Eneloop Pro batteries do not just work in the standard way that most users have come to know and love from their Sanyo Eneloop batteries. Like the standard Eneloop, the Eneloop Pro will require a specialized charger to operate correctly, but this one has the added bonus of being totally wireless. It has not been announced whether or not it will work with the wireless charging pad, but insiders in the industry are already supposing that it will, giving greater life and use for the batteries for anyone that needs to carry power while they are on the move.
One of the other notable additions of the Pro over the standard Sanyo Eneloop is that it will have approximately 25 percent higher capacity , making it ready to handle the most high-draw devices. Furthermore, Sanyo claimed that the batteries will run cooler than the standard Eneloop, so that while it is producing more power, it also will be cooler to the touch, making it ideal for toys and devices intended for children or those that are going to be carried in pockets or poorly ventilated bags or cases.
Price and Timeline
The first real drawback to the new Eneloop is that Sanyo avoided giving a price for the Eneloop Pro. Typical market trends dictate that it would be likely that Sanyo will drop the price of their standard Sanyo Eneloops in an effort to remove old stock as they prepare for the release of the Eneloop Pro, so even those that do not need the additional power of the Pro could see a reduction in their favorite rechargeable battery.
The other problem is the release dates of the batteries. Typically, many months could pass between the time that the Eneloop Pro could hope to find its way to Australian shores. In Japan, the batteries and chargers are projected to be released in mid to late July, with sales likely dictating how long it will be before they move out into the rest of the world. Imports are likely, but could potentially be expensive. Naturally, Electronics Warehouse is going to stay abreast of official releases and warn customers of possible problems with importing the batteries before they have been officially checked for safe use in Australia.