2009, June, 24Of course it is for the protection of customers.
Panasonic Digital Still Cameras now include a technology that can identify a genuine Panasonic battery. For the protection of our customers Panasonic developed this technology after it was discovered that some aftermarket 3rd party batteries do not meet the rigid safety standards Panasonic uses.
I have a panasonic digital camera and I use the cheap USD1 (Cambodia price) alkaline batteries, Duracell or Energizer and never had problems. The only time the battery failed was in Nepal when I bought some unknown cheapie battery. But my camera did not suffer from that incident.
This Panasonic announcement is just like the printer companies who tell you only original printer cartridges will work with their printer. Obviously it is another way to make money. Sometimes an even bigger revenue stream, as "The great printer scam" discusses:
Have you ever related the extremely low printer prices with the extremely high prices for cartridges? Have you noticed how ads go out of their way to underline how low are the entry prices for extremely advanced printers? And how seldom (if ever) do they care to report the price of the INK CARTRIDGE (the toner)? And how many pages can you print with an ink cartridge? What is the cost PER PAGE of a given printer?The other way printer companies try to make more money from consumers is by setting expiration dates to the cartridges. See this PC World article:
The Lexmark Z11 is a very interesting example: this colour printer sells for so little (around 100 Euro) that many manufacturers bundle it with every computer sale. But its ink cartridges cost almost HALF of the price of the whole printer (around 40 Euro)."
A couple of months ago George Siegel, a buddy of mine, e-mailed to complain about an old HP Business Inkjet 2230:
I bought it maybe three years ago for a specific project, but ended up leaving it in the box for 18 to 24 months," he said. "When I finally installed it at home, the black ink cartridge died after about a week. I figured it was empty (undersized cartridge) and replaced it. Then about a week later the cyan cartridge died. I knew I hadn't done much color printing so I got suspicious.
I've had e-mail from readers who have refilled their inkjet cartridges encountering the same situation.
I'm guessing you've figured out what the problem was. Yep: The inkjet cartridges had expiration dates.
There have been lawsuits against HP about this (and no, I couldn't find anything recent). As I researched the issue, I saw an upsurge in 2005 of angry users complaining about expiration dates."