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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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  • by bzzfzz (1542813) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:20PM (#29233051)
    Something to keep you entertained [youtube.com] until we get actual video of exploding devices.

    It is difficult to imagine that an explosion could be caused by any other components in the device. The battery is supposed to be double fused which limits the amount of power to other components, but if there is a failure within the battery itself, the results can be dramatic.

  • suspicious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TRRosen (720617) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:35PM (#29233275)

    these latest reports sound just a bit funny to me. I know the iPod is built well but I just don't see the screen breaking before the back deforms. Remember these batteries don't explode they expand and then off gas flames. The description of the events just don't match what you would expect from a battery of this type failing in this device.
    the first one in britain - yes
    1 device is damaged by a drop
    2 device begins to overheat
    3 device shoots short burst of flames
    this is how you would expect this device to fail.
    But the last couple -- It just went pop and the screen shattered -- strange indeed, especially since the second seemed like he was reading the account of the first one line by line rather then telling something that happened to him.

  • Re:Manufacturing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:38PM (#29233309) Journal

    >>>I wonder if the price saved is worth the lawsuits?

    Well Ford performed this analysis in the 70s when they had a rash of exploding Pintos, and their accountants determined "yes" it's cheaper to pay-off the families of dead drivers than to spend the million-or-so on reengineering and fixing the problem. Besides the Pinto would eventually be phased-out anyway and replaced with a new 80s model, so the problem would solve itself, therefore just keep paying-off the victims to be silent (sound familiar?).

    I suspect today's accountants are saying the same thing - "The money saved by shipping cheap goods from China or India is cheaper than the money paid-out to people with burned hands." Of course this is why we have a government - to protect our individual rights from those persons who would do us harm.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday August 28, 2009 @12:41PM (#29233359) Journal

    Well. Yes. I didn't mean "Easy" as in we've mastered it, I meant it as in, since they're so small, I don't need an Alternator the size of a head to recharge it. My mistake for poor word usage. Should've said because of their size AND the ability to be recharged.

  • by zogger (617870) on Friday August 28, 2009 @01:23PM (#29233963) Homepage Journal

    Modern fashion with gadgets is ultra thin and light, which is dangerous when it comes to lithium batteries. They are *delicate* and dangerous. This marketing decision leads to being not as good from an engineering standpoint (on being safe I mean) in designing the batteries, they are too subject to being smashed/bent, or have design and manufacturing screwups, and that leads to simple failure or catastrophic failure.

        This utter fixation on having the smallest most powerful batteries combined with their basic chemistry of heating and catching fire and having runaway reactions will inevitably lead to a lot of failures when you are making millions of units.

        And look at all this constant kvetching about battery life on laptops and so on. Geez, what a freekin non problem theoretically. If people could be content to carry the same weight they did just a few years ago, as if their girly man muscles could even handle the strain, oh the horrors, they could have *bigger and longer lasting and safer batteries*, probably cheaper as well, but every generation of new gadgets they insist on shaving some ounces and inches off. Well, you can do that to excess it appears. Battery tech has not quite kept up with other electronics miniaturization tech here, so you get problems. They can make the batteries smaller plus more powerful at the same time, but obviously it raises the risk factor. They are pushing it too close to the exploding edge.

    Small, powerful, safe, pick two

    Form is not necessarily your friend always over function. Perhaps if they take a few tens of million$ in cost in recalls and lawsuits this lesson of marketing versus engineering quality standards will sink in better. And any company that did that could turn it around in the market, use their new designed safer and more powerful batteries, albeit larger and heavier, as a marketing edge over just smaller and lighter. There could be some rather humorous ads along these lines showing the victim of the teeniest gadget walking around on fire and all charred all the time, just so he can stupidly brag how cool his new .5 ounce and 1/64th inch thick iXploder is...

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:53PM (#29235287) Homepage

    I see the Apple PR people are out in force, modding this down. It usually takes about 45 minutes to 2 hours for a post critical of Apple to be modded down, which may reflect the Google crawl and update delay. It would be fun if Slashdot graphed this. The usual trajectory is that something critical of Apple gets modded up in the first few minutes, then the Apple promoters get involved.

  • Re:Manufacturing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:05PM (#29236129)

    I don't believe the parent is a troll. I have one of the Macbook Pros with the coreduo processor. These are the ones that Apple said "we never intended for them to be used on your lap." When people complained that the bottom became to hot to put it on your lap. I'm not talking about bare legs here, I'm talking about resting the laptop on your lap when wearing jeans.

    One can install 3rd party plugins/apps like smcFanControl, but why won't apple fix this? Because they removed the term "laptop" from the manual :)

    Now if Apple could just invent a docking station... so corporate users wouldn't have to plug in half a dozen cables every day. Of course you could go out an buy the Apple Monitor, which would eliminate 1 cable...

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

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @02:37AM (#29240583)

    What is Apple's resistance to a docking station? One with built in physical security/power/networking/extra USB ports/monitor

    Maybe because it tried that before [wikipedia.org] and didn't do very well?

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