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Bug Handhelds Apple

Apple Faces Inquiries In the EU On iPhone Accidents 174

Posted by kdawson
from the or-are-you-just-glad-to-see-me dept.
o'reor writes "As more cases of iPhone screen explosions emerge in the news on this side of the pond, Apple is now facing official inquiries and lawsuits in France. This situation has forced Apple finally to break silence and acknowledge the incidents: 'We are aware of these reports and we are waiting to receive the iPhones from the customers. Until we have the full details, we don't have anything further to add.' Following those reports, the European Commission had already decided last week to step in, while Apple tried to dismiss the problem as 'isolated incidents.' Meanwhile, iPhone explosion-related sites are now popping up on the Internet, releasing games such as iPop to chill out and relax on the subject, but also giving users advice on preventing iPhone accidents, or detecting imminent explosions."
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Apple Faces Inquiries In the EU On iPhone Accidents

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  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maxume (22995) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:06PM (#29232843)

    Was it really necessary to link to the iPop advertisements 3 times?

  • by slazzy (864185) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:08PM (#29232869) Homepage
    It's a feature to protect sensitive data. Activate self destruct sequence in 3-2-1..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:09PM (#29232887)

    The biggest accident is that the iPhone was ever released to the public.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:11PM (#29232921) Homepage
    Sure. More revenue. What are you, new here?

    Come on Slashdot. This is pretty lame. No wireless even. Not funny even.

    FTFA:

    * 4. Listen to your iPhone and get to know when the iPhone is about is explode in you hand on [sic] in the pocket. When you feel this is the time, the best thing to do is to throw it away and let the iPhone explode far from you. Later on, please collect all the pieces.

    If you're going to make a goof ball web site, at least proof read your text. Even the Time Cube guy does that....

    Lame.

  • Manufacturing? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:17PM (#29233023)
    The more that companies have moved Western production (American, EU, Japan, Canada, etc) to Chinese manufacturing, the more injuries there has been occurring. I wonder if the price saved is worth the lawsuits?
  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:35PM (#29233271) Journal

    Now THAT -IS- interesting.

    I mean, it appears to me as though Apple found a couple of cases where it wasn't the battery and they're trying to promote the idea that their product is safe before admitting that there is a defect.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the batteries went through alot of QA before they were shipped, and they were much safer then previous batteries used. But its still the same technology, and there will be rare cases where users will put strain on their devices that weren't tested. And by that I don't mean excessive pressure to the screen, I mean having the iPhone in a dusty environment, things start overheating, lots of stuff like that.

  • by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:39PM (#29233321)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>Things that use L I batteries have exploded before in the past, it's just become common that everyone owns either an iPod or an iPhone, so when 13 or more stories arise of exploding Apple devices people take notice.

    I'm not sure this is a correct assumption. Surely laptops and netbooks and hundreds of other models of phones all run on the same kind of Li+ battery, but only these ones are the ones that are exploding (or at least the ones that are reported). You can say what you want about which ones do and don't get reported, but exploding phones/computers I would think would get covered regardless of brand, leading me to believe that THIS particular Li+ battery (the iPhone) is at least somewhat more suspectible to explosion.
  • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:44PM (#29233401)

    The cell phone app?
    You mean, when you use the FUCKING PHONE as a FUCKING PHONE?

    On a side note, I think I need a new phone.
    Mine is starting to get hot whenever I make calls. Never used to before.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:49PM (#29233455)

    Damned external forces.

    Gravity.
    Atmospheric pressure.
    Radiation pressure from the light of your mackbook pro's lcd.

    I thought the reality distortion field was supposed to block such harmful forces.

  • Re:Like Sharks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oneirophrenos (1500619) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:58PM (#29233529)

    The EU smells money.

    Will Apple escape? Or will the EU leech off of them endlessly like they do with MS?

    Should the EU not intervene on behalf of its citizens? I think this is exactly the kind of thing a governmental body should do, step in to protect people when corporations decide to do something stupid.

  • Re:Manufacturing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:08PM (#29233697)
    The sun doesn't rise, either. I enjoy a good morning earth turn.
  • Re:Manufacturing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:18PM (#29233861) Homepage

    The money saved by shipping cheap goods from China or India is cheaper than the money paid-out to people with burned hands.

    I think you meant it's cheaper to pay out people with burned hands than to correct a design flaw. Presumably the product would still be assembled in China, regardless.

  • by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:18PM (#29233867) Homepage Journal

    Who in their right mind would send the murder weapon to the murderer, first class?

    It's not the best analogy, but the fact is these people can not trust Apple with the evidence, it might get "lost", and no matter what Apple says the problem is they sure as hell aren't sending back the unit.

  • Re:Manufacturing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:21PM (#29233917) Journal

    I don't know where they were manufacturing before, but I have noticed a huge drop in the quality of Apple's hardware. I've bee a Mac aficionado since the early 1990s but my latest computer from them, a Macbook, is the first Mac I have actually hated. First there are the sharp edges that hurt my wrists. Then there are the edges that soon broke off. Then there's the fact that it freezes and applications seem incapable of quitting without crashing. Then there's the power adapter that heats up so much I have to use an oven glove to unplug it. Then there's the battery that heats up so much I can't even set the damn thing in my lap. I never thought I'd say this, but I hate my Mac!

  • by mpe (36238) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:30PM (#29234085)
    .Guess what two pieces AREN'T covered for in the Warranty? Battery and power supply. Even the Manufacturers warranty for the battery is shorter than the manufacturers warranty for the laptop. This is simply because they are succeptable to ALOT of failure. Now the great thing about laptop batteries is that they are usually completely encased in plastic, and if one "explodes" - its pretty difficult to tell

    Also the battery in a typical laptop (even a typical phone) is an easily replacable part. Which isn't the case with the Apple devices.
  • by perlmangle (49439) <e^i_pi+1=0@polyphemus.org> on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:36PM (#29234153) Homepage Journal
    Does no one else find the makeipodsafe.com site to be an obvious (and hilarious) parody?

    * There are millions of Apple products out there at the customers...
    * According to the last ones which already explode and went on fire...
    * How to avoid iPhone from exploding
    * Lots more...

    And this? [makeipodsafe.com]

    C'mon people; that's comedy gold.
  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:03PM (#29235415)

    Now THAT -IS- interesting.

    I mean, it appears to me as though Apple found a couple of cases where it wasn't the battery and they're trying to promote the idea that their product is safe before admitting that there is a defect.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the batteries went through alot of QA before they were shipped, and they were much safer then previous batteries used.

    Why are you assuming that this has anything to do with the battery being defective? How do we know that this was not caused by either the backlight exploding directly from pressure or from the backlight exploding and causing damage to the lithium battery which then exploded?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:10PM (#29235501)

    actually, this is both old news (Apple already received then units, and commented that all 11 ruptured due to external, not internal pressures exrted on the devices, and none of this was consistent from device to device) but further, and more to the point, the 3GS does NOT use a LiIon battery, but an advanced LiPo battery, which is not subject to cascade cell faulure, nor outgassing when overheated. Further, since LiPos have a MUCH greater discharge rate, shorting the battery alone is not a danger where with LiIon this will almost certainly cause dangerous conditions.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:41PM (#29235855) Journal

    Battery or not - its defective if its not the user applying too much pressure. Point is that Apple is denying that its their fault.

    I just wagered it was the battery because those have been the cause for exploding mini devices in the past.

  • by SBrach (1073190) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:19PM (#29236267)
    Yeah, because a cell phone that explodes under too much pressure is the fault of the owner. It's not like these things ever get sat on or dropped. Exploding is a perfectly reasonable failure mode for these rare, 1-in-a-brazillion scenarios.
  • by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:27PM (#29236369) Journal

    What, exactly, do they do, that is easier than sliding a latch, sliding out the old battery, and sliding the new one in? That's how every laptop I've ever had was set up.

    Serious question here, I really want to know.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IorDMUX (870522) <mark.zimmerman3@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:54PM (#29237461) Homepage
    I followed the link on "detecting imminent explosions", hoping to gain some insight about Li-Ion batteries or at least see some amusing stories about unusual system behavior shortly before an explosion. Instead, I found some of the most useless advice since I contacted Dell's tech support about a RAM issue.

    The following are verbatim quotes from the page, taken from a section about 'steps you can take to be safer':

    If the iPhone is getting hotter, if its start to make noises, raise smoke or shake un normally, it's a sign something is about to happen.

    Or even worse...

    Listen to your iPhone and get to know when the iPhone is about is explode in you hand on in the pocket. When you feel this is the time, the best thing to do is to throw it away and let the iPhone explode far from you. Later on, please collect all the pieces.

    So... their advice on determining if your iPhone is at risk of explosion boils down to looking for smoke and then tossing the thing like a hand grenade. I particularly enjoy the fairly circular advice to "get to know when the iPhone is about is [sic] explode". Does one detonate and study a series of iPhones to gather this knowledge?

    It has been a while since something on the internet actually struck me speechless, but this has done it.

  • by indiechild (541156) on Friday August 28, 2009 @07:58PM (#29238037)

    Thick and heavy gadgets won't cut it in today's market. My 1st gen iPhone is at the "barely tolerable" size, weight and thickness -- any bigger and I would be loath to carry it in my pocket when I don't have a shoulder bag with me.

    Nobody wants to go back to the 90s when people were carrying around brick phones.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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