Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 08:47 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Apple I think we just found out why we aren't hearing more stories of exploding and burning iPods. Ken Stanborough had to throw his daughter Ellie's iPod Touch outside, because it got too hot to hold, and he could see vapour. Within 30 seconds, he could see smoke, he heard a pop, and the Touch went 10ft into the air. After contacting Apple, the company denied liability, but offered a refund. However, Apple said that in accepting the money, Stanborough was not allowed to talk about the existence of the agreement - or else Apple would sue him. Update: Apple told Sky News Online that the letter with the gagging order is standard practice.

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As sick as it gets
by porcel on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:20 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

Multiple Choice Test:

If you are a morally bankrupt company, what do you do?

A) If the cost of settlement for injuries and destruction of property caused by burning or exploding ipods is much inferior than a recall of a defective product, we stay quiet, force our customers to be quiet and hope the issue goes away.

B) We put an ad in all major newspapers and radio stations announcing that we stand by our products and asking customers to return their ipods for repair or replacement at their nearest store. As a goodwill measure, we reward them with a tutorial on the apple genius bar or a discount on their next apple purchase.

Edited 2009-08-03 09:20 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: As sick as it gets
by ferrels on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:29 UTC in reply to "As sick as it gets"
ferrels Member since:
2006-08-15

Morally bankrupt. That's the most accurate description of Apple that I've heard in a long time.

Reply Score: 5

How arrogant do you have to be ...
by Hypnos on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:22 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

... to expect that someone would agree to a lifetime confidentiality agreement for the price of an iPod?

How about a counteroffer? "$2 million for nearly maiming my daughter, *and* you can lick my balls."

Reply Score: 15

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

I don't get it. Do you have no customer protection laws in USA?

I mean, in EU, if I buy an ipod and it becomes faulty within 2 years, I just send it back and get my money back, no questions asked.

If I were this father I would write Apple back that they:
1) Will have to deal with my putting this stuff up on youtube, and in newspaper forums etc.
2) Send me back my money without any agreement, else they find themselves as defendant in court.
3) Apologize sincerely for both the technical and the social blunder they did, else: see point 2.

I am sure I would get all 3 points fulfilled within 3 days, because EU consumer protection law has teeth.

Reply Score: 2

Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

Well, this case was in the UK.

In the US, various states have different consumer protection laws, but I've never heard of anyone getting a refund letter with a confidentiality agreement attached. IANAL, but I imagine it would violate some law or another in various states.

Reply Score: 2

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

LOL! I'd find every bored lawyer in NYC, get them on retainer and sue apple back into obscurity.

Reply Score: 2

Reputation
by unoengborg on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:23 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

If Apple wanted to protect their reputation, they should try to figure out what models of ipods that might have this problem and recall them.

Strongarming customers that have experienced these kind of problems to keep silent, will not do them any good. These things will always get out in the open, making people wonder how many other Apple products have this dangerous problem e.g.

Would it also affect iphones, there have been reports of iphone discoloration, probably due to heat, would that also mean that they are likely to explode?

Reply Score: 3

*wonders* Where are Davids posts?
by kragil on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:28 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Didn't he intend to write 1984 days of bad PR for Apple?
Did his stamina only last for the initial article?
Didn't he like the reception? Did he think it would get more traction?
Did he delegate the work to Thom ;) ?

Reply Score: 0

Irresponsible
by WereCatf on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:31 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

This is just downright irresponsible behaviour from Apple. Had the daughter continued to use the iPod she could have lost fingers, eyesight, hearing or even worse. And who knows how many other iPods are faulty when Apple doesn't even want to admit there is a problem? I mean, seriously, if there is a risk of injuries and even a remote death then they should call those products back immediately!

I am just glad Ellie is fine and her father was smart enough to react quickly. Oh, and the gag order? I wouldn't have accepted the money either, these things need to be made public just in case it happens to someone else. Gee, they shouldn't even try to silence people when things like this happen.

Reply Score: 4

Lithium Ion power batteries
by transputer_guy on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 09:46 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

With all these fire stories for iPods, and laptops of various vendors, inevitably all related to Lithium Ion batteries, it makes me wonder what will happen when there are millions of electric vehicles on the road powered by battery packs that have many thousands of times more energy storage capacity than mere iPods.

For EVs to be practical they need to store about as much energy in battery form as a couple of gallons of gasoline, and that is a great deal of energy to be sitting next to!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Lithium Ion power batteries
by gustl on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:38 UTC in reply to "Lithium Ion power batteries"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

The Li-ion batteries in cell phones and other gadgets are not much better protected than ordinary batteries were. In cars you would only get batteries which are inside crash-resistant cases, temperature conditioned and protected against shorting.

The remaining risk will be equivalent to today's gasoline driven cars.

By the way: Gasoline is way more dangerous than diesel, yet most people in the USA still buy gasoline driven cars. If you want to ignite a pot full of gasoline, all you need is a lit match or a small spark.
This does not work for diesel. You can extinguish a lit match in a pot full of diesel.

Reply Score: 5

transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

"The Li-ion batteries in cell phones and other gadgets are not much better protected than ordinary batteries were. In cars you would only get batteries which are inside crash-resistant cases, temperature conditioned and protected against shorting."

That is true but for EVs to really take off they will be coming from the likes of BYD in China in huge volumes, rather than Tesla in drips. At least BYD makes the cells so it should know them inside out but Chinese cars are still unproven in western markets.

"The remaining risk will be equivalent to today's gasoline driven cars."

We have seen gas SUV rollovers igniting on TV recently and some dramatic rescues of occupants, but the fuel didn't all explode in one go, took a few minutes to burn up into a fireball. We haven't seen a single Li Ion EV crash yet to see how it will play out. I would want to see such dramatic crash tests before putting my family in one. There have been Prius crashes but those are for Nickel Hydride.



"By the way: Gasoline is way more dangerous than diesel, yet most people in the USA still buy gasoline driven cars. If you want to ignite a pot full of gasoline, all you need is a lit match or a small spark.
This does not work for diesel. You can extinguish a lit match in a pot full of diesel."

The reason Diesel is hardly present in the US is because of the EPA regulations regarding diesel particulates based on the old technology. The EPA should probably let the newer VW diesels in once it factors in the lower CO2 vs other emissions. Interesting that VW is getting much better results for diesel than any EV for the highest mpgs, see their 282mpg 1 liter prototype.

And the best for last.

Treehugger just posted an update on EEStor at
http://theeestory.com/topics/2529

If this pans out, lithium and most all batteries get replaced by supercaps with extreme amounts of charge storage, a long story in its own right.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lithium Ion power batteries
by jackastor on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 18:35 UTC in reply to "Lithium Ion power batteries"
jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

With all these fire stories for iPods, and laptops of various vendors, inevitably all related to Lithium Ion batteries, it makes me wonder what will happen when there are millions of electric vehicles on the road powered by battery packs that have many thousands of times more energy storage capacity than mere iPods.

That's why the Tesla Roadster has a Lithium battery array the size of a couch, with its own cooling system and fuses between each cell to minimize violent fiery death of passengers. Expensive solution though, so I'm not sure that liquid-cooled iPods will be on the shelves any time soon.

Instead, Apple's new solution will be an adapter that allows the ipod to plug right into your circulatory system so it can convert your blood into fuel.

Edited 2009-08-03 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Instead, Apple's new solution will be an adapter that allows the ipod to plug right into your circulatory system so it can convert your blood into fuel.

...because blood sucking is also standard practice for Apple.

Reply Score: 7

MS
by adinas on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:01 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

And People still hate Microsoft more than Apple. I mean, when you see Apple, you can see how much worse things could have been if Apple was on 90% of the PCs in the world

Reply Score: 10

RE: MS
by MORB on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:12 UTC in reply to "MS"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

I hate microsoft because I can't avoid their products.
I have to use them at work. I have to use windows to play games.
I have to endure neighbors/family coming crying to me because their windows installations went titties up.

Apple is a douchey corporation but I don't care because I don't have to interact with their products for any reason if I don't want to.

Reply Score: 12

RE: MS
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:16 UTC in reply to "MS"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The difference between Apple and MS' evilness is simple.

Microsoft's evil was/is geared towards other *companies*. And in all honesty, I couldn't care less what one company does to another. The effect this had on users (stifling innovation due to MS' monoculture) is indirect, and because we have no way of knowing how else it would have turned out, difficult to quantify.

Apple's evil, on the other hand, is clearly geared towards *consumers* and *small developers*. They are actively going after them, trying to hurt them.

I find Apple's evil of a much worse kind.

Reply Score: 15

RE[2]: MS
by drstorm on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:27 UTC in reply to "RE: MS"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

True.

In fact, I think any company would do pretty much the same if they were Microsoft. Google's "do no evil" policy is just a PR thing. Everyone cares just about themselves. Sad truth... ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: MS
by OSGuy on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: MS"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I agree with you 100%

Microsoft has *respect* for developers and consumers and cares for end users. Where is Apple's respect? They threaten their own costumers. This is a prime example.

Edited 2009-08-03 10:33 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: MS
by RogerBryce on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: MS"
RogerBryce Member since:
2008-07-07

I think I'd have a hard time choosing between those two evils if I had to.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: MS
by mrhasbean on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE: MS"
RE[3]: MS
by OSGuy on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Wow, so let me get this right, you are claiming here that Apple are purposely building faulty equipment (actively going after them) that is designed to hurt people (trying to hurt people).

No, not purposely however when there is a possible fault with a product, it should be addressed and people should not be silenced/threatened.

Edited 2009-08-03 10:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MS
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Wow, so let me get this right, you are claiming here that Apple are purposely building faulty equipment (actively going after them) that is designed to hurt people (trying to hurt people).


No, I was talking about the evilness. In MS' case, threatening OEMs and such. In Apple's case, threatening to sue consumers, severely hurting developers in the App Store cases, and litigating to keep negative reports under wraps.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: MS
by mrhasbean on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: MS"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

"Wow, so let me get this right, you are claiming here that Apple are purposely building faulty equipment (actively going after them) that is designed to hurt people (trying to hurt people).


No, I was talking about the evilness. In MS' case, threatening OEMs and such. In Apple's case, threatening to sue consumers, severely hurting developers in the App Store cases, and litigating to keep negative reports under wraps.
"

Ahh I see. Well that clears it up then. Sorry for jumping to the wrong conclusion without first getting all the information...

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: MS
by Calipso on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: MS"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

wow. For a second there I forgot I was on the internet. That was so civilized. One person makes a mistake and jumps to conclusion, gets corrected, and apologizes! I'm impressed. A rare occurrence on the web. It was nice to see.

Now to add something on topic so I don't get voted down too much.

I agree with Thom. Apple's evil is worse since it's directed at consumers.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: MS
by andydread on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

"Apple's evil, on the other hand, is clearly geared towards *consumers* and *small developers*. They are actively going after them, trying to hurt them.


Wow, so let me get this right, you are claiming here that Apple are purposely building faulty equipment (actively going after them) that is designed to hurt people (trying to hurt people).
"

I dont see any claim about apple PURPOSELY building faulty equipment.
I didn't see that implication in the post. The implication is that Apple threatening the customers and small developers with LAWSUITS. Stop trying to spin people's posts.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: MS
by sbergman27 on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Wow, so let me get this right, you are claiming here that Apple are purposely building faulty equipment (actively going after them) that is designed to hurt people (trying to hurt people).

Just a helpful tip. Deliberately "misunderstanding" what other discussion participants say, as you are rather obviously doing here, makes your own case look weak. Try not to employ that poor technique. Or at the very least, try not to be so obvious.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MS
by WereCatf on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE: MS"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Microsoft's evil was/is geared towards other *companies*. And in all honesty, I couldn't care less what one company does to another.

That is a very ignorant thing to say and I am surprised to see you saying such. First of all, imagine you were the owner of a small shop, just trying to make a living with a few friends of yours. Then a big company comes in and tramples you to the ground. I can BET you would care then. Atleast I do care when a big company does force a smaller one out of business, it's bad for both the customers and the owners of the smaller one. But oh, you don't care, all companies are evil, including even the small ones, put together by honest people.

Apple's evil, on the other hand, is clearly geared towards *consumers* and *small developers*. They are actively going after them, trying to hurt them.

Going after them? Trying to hurt them? No, they are trying to CONTROL them. Not hurt them. Even this news here is all about control: they want to control what kinds of information people spread about Apple and they want to control who is allowed to spread those things in the first hand. Hurting customers/developers is a side-effect of control, it's not the primary directive.

Reply Score: 5

RE: MS
by Isolationist on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 11:21 UTC in reply to "MS"
Isolationist Member since:
2006-05-28

And People still hate Microsoft more than Apple. I mean, when you see Apple, you can see how much worse things could have been if Apple was on 90% of the PCs in the world


I think there is a lot of truth in your statement. Not wishing to be modded down, but I am starting to realise that Apple are just as bad as Microsoft - especially where interoperability of their products are concerned with other operating systems. Anyway, slightly off-topic.

Reply Score: 3

RE: MS
by JeffS on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 13:43 UTC in reply to "MS"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

I know I hate Apple more than MS, that's for sure.

Apple sucks, plain and simple. Jobs is nothing more than a snake oil salesman and everyone who buys Apple products are suckers (including me - I have an iPod).

But I'll never buy another Apple product for as long as I live.

Apple sucks, and is a complete abomination to the tech industry.

Reply Score: 0

Whenever I see stories...
by mrhasbean on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:26 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...like this I think about all those Windows PC's I've removed viruses from over the years where I've asked people things like "what have you been using the machine for" and "have you been keeping your virus scanners up to date" to be given answers like "I only use it for internet browsing and email" and "yes I update the virus scanner all the time" to find that there are numerous PTP apps, online poker games and every variety of instant messenger known to man, the firewall is disabled and the virus scanner was last updated in October 1998.

In other words, how much of the story are we hearing?

Had the cute innocent 11 year old inadvertently taken the thing into the shower, forced the wrong plug up it's tail, sat it on the sandwich press while she was making the sandwich to put in there, had it plugged in to charge while listening to it when she was out sun bathing on a hot humid summer's day?

The problem with these sorts of stories is that the "victims" will rarely if ever tell the whole truth because just as with the computer loaded with viruses they don't want to look like a complete idiot for doing the wrong thing in the first place - a factor the governing safety body considers when assessing these things. In a case like this there is no proof she wasn't doing the wrong thing, only her word and the word of her father, so Apple's response to offer a refund was from their position a fair and reasonable gesture, and for the exact reason demonstrated by this article - trial by the media without evidence - they require that the incident remains unpublicised.

Sadly the majority of the journalistic community overlook THEIR moral obligation to ensure there is evidence before openly attacking others - oh wait that's right - freedom of the press - hmmm. If there is evidence to prove this story then yes it can rightly be said that Apple have tried to suppress it. But there certainly isn't any evidence in the journalistic messterpiece that is the original article, and without evidence its just fud - believed only by those who themselves engage in posting it...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Whenever I see stories...
by drstorm on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:32 UTC in reply to "Whenever I see stories..."
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

What can I say? Enjoy your iPod and don't get fooled by these FUD articles.

Hopefully you will not burn. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Whenever I see stories...
by andydread on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:39 UTC in reply to "Whenever I see stories..."
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

...like this I think about all those Windows PC's I've removed viruses from over the years where I've asked people things like "what have you been using the machine for" and "have you been keeping your virus scanners up to date" to be given answers like "I only use it for internet browsing and email" and "yes I update the virus scanner all the time" to find that there are numerous PTP apps, online poker games and every variety of instant messenger known to man, the firewall is disabled and the virus scanner was last updated in October 1998.

In other words, how much of the story are we hearing?

Had the cute innocent 11 year old inadvertently taken the thing into the shower, forced the wrong plug up it's tail, sat it on the sandwich press while she was making the sandwich to put in there, had it plugged in to charge while listening to it when she was out sun bathing on a hot humid summer's day?

The problem with these sorts of stories is that the "victims" will rarely if ever tell the whole truth because just as with the computer loaded with viruses they don't want to look like a complete idiot for doing the wrong thing in the first place - a factor the governing safety body considers when assessing these things. In a case like this there is no proof she wasn't doing the wrong thing, only her word and the word of her father, so Apple's response to offer a refund was from their position a fair and reasonable gesture, and for the exact reason demonstrated by this article - trial by the media without evidence - they require that the incident remains unpublicised.

Sadly the majority of the journalistic community overlook THEIR moral obligation to ensure there is evidence before openly attacking others - oh wait that's right - freedom of the press - hmmm. If there is evidence to prove this story then yes it can rightly be said that Apple have tried to suppress it. But there certainly isn't any evidence in the journalistic messterpiece that is the original article, and without evidence its just fud - believed only by those who themselves engage in posting it...


Blame the victims, blame the press. The rational of some of the die hard apple cultists is amazing to me. So Apple makes a faulty product (not on purpose), finds out its faulty, threatens with a letter for the customer to shut up and be silent and its the victims fault? Oh and the evil non Apple press for reporting something that does not jive with Apple. You rush to defend Apple in this situation is baffling.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Whenever I see stories...
by gustl on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:54 UTC in reply to "Whenever I see stories..."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Well, let's look into the scenario a little.

Let us assume, the ipod was roughly handeled, dropped to the floor multiple times and thrown out of the window, stepped on, pissed on by a dog, a cat and a rabbit, then forgotten underneath a window with the sun heating it up to 80°C

That is no reason for any product to explode! I would expect any mobile product to possibly experience such treatment. It is allowed to be dead after such treatment, but never should it explode.
Investing more into Li-ion battery safety would do them good.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Whenever I see stories...
by Ikshaar on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:54 UTC in reply to "Whenever I see stories..."
Ikshaar Member since:
2005-07-14

...The problem with these sorts of stories is that the "victims" will rarely if ever tell the whole truth

For Heaven's sake, it's a ipod, not a nuclear device. Safety means it's safe even if not use properly.

Would you say lead paint on toy is ok because it's not made for oral consumption ?!! of course not. Safety extents beyond the normal use.

Plus the number of battery related incidents should give you a hint that leakage in those battery is a real concern. Unless Apple cut corner and use cheap battery, I don't blame them either, we need new batteries, safer and more efficient.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Whenever I see stories...
by Phloptical on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 23:05 UTC in reply to "Whenever I see stories..."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

So you really think the Touch exploding was due to malicious intent on user's part? Obviously it's so easy to open the case and hack away at an ipod touch for no apparent reason.

How's that kool-aid tasting?

Reply Score: 2

Throwing the device?
by christian on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 10:34 UTC
christian
Member since:
2005-07-06

The actions of Apple are indefensible, but it has to be said that throwing the device might have contributed significantly to the subsequent explosion. Lithium ion cells don't take too kindly to impacts. Apple would try and show that the device would not have exploded had it not been thrown.

Doesn't the US have any consumer laws to protect people's rights in this sort of situation? In the UK, the "Sales of Goods and Services Act" would cover issues like this, and makes the retailer liable for refunds if the product is not fit for purpose. Getting a refund would not be a problem in a case like this, with no conditions attached.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Throwing the device?
by Sparrowhawk on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 12:40 UTC in reply to "Throwing the device?"
Sparrowhawk Member since:
2005-07-11

This case was from the UK, Liverpool to be precise.

I agree with you that we do not know the full facts of the case and as such we ought not jump to conclusions regarding the iPod itself. However be that as it may, Apple's subsequent bahaviour is truly lamentable. I've been a big Apple fan for many years now, but their behaviour in recent months towards consumers has been shoddy at best.

I think the Big Cheese himself needs to kick a few execs in the derriere and remind them (and himself) just how Apple got popular in the first place. It certainly was not by behaving like this.

Anyone know whether this sort of 'binding' agreement is actually legally binding in English and Welsh law?

Edited 2009-08-03 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Throwing the device?
by DrillSgt on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:10 UTC in reply to "Throwing the device?"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

The actions of Apple are indefensible, but it has to be said that throwing the device might have contributed significantly to the subsequent explosion. Lithium ion cells don't take too kindly to impacts. Apple would try and show that the device would not have exploded had it not been thrown.


That would indicate faulty design. The iPod, as with the old Walkman tape players, are supposed to be designed to handle being dropped and impacts. The major purpose of devices like this is so you can work out, run/jog, play sports, etc while listening to your music. In other words, it should be able to withstand being dropped or tossed into the grass.

Reply Score: 5

Electrolux versus Apple
by 3rdalbum on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 11:07 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Last year, Electrolux Home Products in Australia recieved a report from a customer that his dishwasher's control panel had caught fire. Electrolux sent a service technician out there and confirmed this.

They immediately notified retailers to stop selling this dishwasher until they had replaced the dangerous components. They put out newspaper advertisements advising the recall, and also sent out media releases. They sent technicians out to every customer who'd bought one of these dishwashers, and to all retailers and warehouses stocking these dishwashers, to replace the parts.

After a month or so they'd upgraded all the dishwashers from customers who had gotten in contact with them, and noticed that there must be a couple of thousand units that still hadn't been upgraded - so they put out more ads and media releases to try and get customers to contact Electrolux.

Then they sent the technicians around a second time to put insulating tape around the replaced component, for extra safety.

This whole process was sparked by just one dishwasher catching fire.

Apple receives a number of reports of iPods catching fire or exploding (those l-ion batteries look like miniature pyrotechnics when they vent). Rather than put out a recall, they just replace whatever units have exploded and get their lawyers to try and shut up the victims. The next time a battery explodes, they'll do the same thing.

Electrolux handled their problem with elegance. Apple is handling its problem utterly disgracefully. This needs to be reported far and wide.

Reply Score: 28

RE: Electrolux versus Apple
by phoudoin on Tue 4th Aug 2009 10:06 UTC in reply to "Electrolux versus Apple"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Yet being an Electrolux consumer is - by far scale - less *hype* than being an Apple products addict.

The root of the problem is not in company *evilness*.
It's the consumer. Don't like Apple (recent) behavior? Stop buying there stuff. Looks for alternative. Even when it seems there is none, the simple fact more and more people will look for one will spawn an alternative opportunity. The more doing it, the sooner it will get real.

Simple and effective.

There is alternative to iPod Touch. But none have an Apple logo on it. Not necessary a cons, though. Beware, Apple, people quasi-love for a trademark is very volatile, it goes as it comes. Tomorrow, "be different" geeky hype could be having NO Apple products.

Reply Score: 1

A Fanboy Here
by jweinraub on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 13:14 UTC
jweinraub
Member since:
2009-06-22

While I am a fanboy, I am not your typical fanboy. I don't own an iPhone, I waited until the iPod Touch to get my first iPod. I own a preused powerbook, so to say I am a true fanboy is the understatement of the year.

While I do own AAPL stock, I've sold it off recently.

That all being said, I am appalled that Apple would do such tactics. Apple has always prided themselves for thinking differently, not the beige boxes of yesteryear. That maybe true in the 80s, nowadays they are still a niche company that is now thinking more corporate.

I've always wondered if Steve Jobs didn't make the mistakes he did in the 80s, would Apple be the mega dominating empire and Microsoft was the niche market? Obviously there is no way of knowing, but it seems like with every passing day, Apple is becoming more and more like what they were against. Google was the same way. Coincidence? I don't think so.

It is kinda scary actually and I hope this can be corrected before it becomes too late.

Reply Score: 2

Apple, etc
by yerenkow on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 13:37 UTC
yerenkow
Member since:
2009-06-11

The only thing *any* company cares - their Profit.
If you against profit - then company automatically against you.
The whole "money based system" suxx ;)

Edited 2009-08-03 13:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple, etc
by MORB on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 14:08 UTC in reply to "Apple, etc"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

That's an overly simplistic view.

Some companies value their public image and while admitting faults and issuing product recalls costs money on the short term (bad for the profits), on the long term it's good PR (good for the profits).

Apple is just being arrogant and stupid. It's not surprising given that it seems to be their core values (and the two main things that characterize apple fanboys).

Reply Score: 3

in the real world
by jofallon on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 13:42 UTC
jofallon
Member since:
2005-11-15

confidentiality agreements in exchange for a settlement are commonplace. If there were many exploding iPods, an agreement with one family would hardly keep the story quiet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: in the real world
by Bobthearch on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 14:07 UTC in reply to "in the real world"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Yes, that type of agreement is very common in consumer lawsuit settlements. But generally only in cases where the lawsuit is settled out of court and there's a large payout.

I've never heard of such a thing for a mere price refund.

Reply Score: 2

RE: in the real world
by Beta on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 17:32 UTC in reply to "in the real world"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

confidentiality agreements in exchange for a settlement are commonplace. If there were many exploding iPods, an agreement with one family would hardly keep the story quiet.

But this wasn’t a settlement, it was a refund.
It is illegal to have a requirement on a refund here in the UK, it is not conditional, if the item was faultly, you are entitled at no cost to a repair, replacement, or refund.
Your ‘real world’ seems more bizarre than ours.

Reply Score: 5

Gag order?
by Budd on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:14 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08

What gag order are you people at OS News talking about? Since when is a company allowed to place such "order" for a FREE,private person? Moreover, buying such a device (not only from Apple) do not involve such terms. From where I come, this is called "buying silence" but sensationalism draws more clicks on the said website (including OSNews).
That is why they (and not only them) find this "standard practice". If the company was (say) Psystar , it wouldn't draw such attention. On OSNews, there's (at this moment) a certain anti-Apple campaign. It was MS,Ubuntu,MS again,Linus Torvalds,George Bush,MS again and more is expected. I put my money on Google as the next target.
Pfff,and you guys call yourself "editors" (without a diploma,obviously). Fortunately,internet is (somehow) free. Keep up the good work.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Gag order?
by DrillSgt on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:21 UTC in reply to "Gag order?"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

What gag order are you people at OS News talking about? Since when is a company allowed to place such "order" for a FREE,private person?


Might want to read the article. A letter to a customer saying they can not discuss the matter is the topic. Whether it is allowed or not only matters prior to Apple even sending it. Right now that is irrelevant, as they actually did it.

On another note, with the payoff, I do agree it is not really a gag order, it is more of a buy off, or to use the proper term, blackmail. Paying for someone's silence on an issue, and if they do not keep silent, a threat of action against them. In this case, the threat is to sue.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Gag order?
by Budd on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Gag order?"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

I have read the article(s) and the buy off is indeed the subject (or is it?). The real issue here is the faulty iPlode and gods know how many like these are at large now. My (semi)rant is with footer update of the article. A gag order is enforced,one doesn't try to place one on the said party.

Reply Score: 2

Read before signing
by Dr-ROX on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:27 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

Good to see someone actually have read the contract before signing. But there may be many people, who did it without looking. So if they blog about theis blown up Apple products, they can get sued. Seems like free word does not exist anymore.

Other thing is - what company makes batteries for Apple? Sony? They had their own Vaio exploding. Maybe Apple should buy details from other companies. Sanyo made good Lithium batteries, as I remember.

Reply Score: 1

Rotten Apple...
by Lazarus on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 16:47 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

I don't give a flying f--k if this is "standard practice" it is evil and it sickens me that a company's image is more important than the safety of its customers.

Reply Score: 4

Same old, same old...
by sbergman27 on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 17:49 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Let's see:

1. Inferior quality hardware?

Check.

2. Poses clear and present (not to mention *serious*) danger to their customers?

Check.

3. Irresponsible behavior? Denial? Suppression of the harrowing, but unfortunately no longer "shocking" truth?

Check. Check. Check.

This is becoming the face of Apple Computer. Even if the company name were not mentioned in the story, it would have been pretty easy to guess, with confidence, that it was Apple.

Please continue to keep the public informed of these Apple-related atrocities, OSNews. It's depressing. But people need to be exposed to the *truth* about Apple Computer.

Edited 2009-08-03 17:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Standards!!
by nickelbackro on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 17:55 UTC
nickelbackro
Member since:
2009-04-12

As an electrical technician i find this horrible. There are organizations out there such as UL that do extensive testing of consumer devices. IDK if the iPod touch is UL (or an equivalent outside safety organization) listed but i would hope so. Knowing apple though it wouldn't surprise me if all testing is done in house.

This sounds like an internal short and such explosive results can be alleviated if a simple tear away vent were placed on the battery. The battery would vent its contents and fail to work afterward but would not critically fail due to pressure. Not having a safety device as simple as this is irresponsible at best even if space concerns were an issue.

Edited 2009-08-03 17:56 UTC

Reply Score: 6

"Standard practice"?
by Mark Williamson on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 18:08 UTC
Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds weird to me. However:

UK law AFAIK (IANAL) provides protection for consumers against goods "not fit for purpose". However, I was under the impression that the retailer was obliged to provide a refund / replacement if the goods prove not to be fit for purpose. Given they're dealing direct with Apple, I'd imagine that whether that right applied depends on whether they purchased from the Apple Store (making Apple the retailer), or from another shop. I don't remember the story mentioning which was the case?

Regardless, I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to contact Apple directly given it's a potentially serious fault. They're arguably doing Apple a favour. Apple's response is extremely dubious, not to mention ungrateful. If their account proves accurate, I applaud the family in question for making this known to the world rather than taking Apple's "hush money" refund.

Apple's going about protecting its image in the wrong way and they need to be made to realise this! Just because you *can* draft letters that should contain information leaks does not mean that you *should* or that it's possible to maintain the same culture of secrecy amongst the general public as you do internally.

Reply Score: 2

v Competitor
by Buck on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 19:42 UTC
RE: Competitor
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 19:47 UTC in reply to "Competitor"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What makes you think it wasn't a move by Apple's competitors trying to expose the weak spots?


Common sense?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Competitor
by Buck on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Competitor"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

Common sense?

It's definitely a (remote) possibility. Although yeah, it's quite unlikely.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Competitor
by sbergman27 on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 20:01 UTC in reply to "Competitor"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Not to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist, but that could happen very easily, seeing how (for example) MS is upset with Apple's success.

Not to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist, but I don't really see how they could do that... unless they had help from space aliens. Maybe even the same ones Elvis sent to kill Michael Jackson.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Competitor
by tupp on Tue 4th Aug 2009 08:09 UTC in reply to "Competitor"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

What makes you think it wasn't a move by Apple's competitors trying to expose the weak spots?

So, you are suggesting that one of Apple's competitors impersonated Apple and tried to coerce the victim to keep quiet?

Reply Score: 3

Unconsionable
by daddio on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 20:00 UTC
daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

The legal term for such a "settlement" offer is:

Unconscionable.

It means nobody in their right mind would agree to such terms unless they had no power to negotiate at all.

In legal terms, such a deal with the devil is unenforceable. In real terms, nobody wants to be threatened with a lawsuit no matter how bogus, and a bogus lawsuit can ruin a normal person or a small company (and the big corporate types know this) so it will be a good thing that somebody made it public.

A class action cannot be far behind.

Reply Score: 2

Shame
by fretinator on Mon 3rd Aug 2009 20:27 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's always a shame when a victim explodes, even an IPod victim.

Reply Score: 3

iSmoke
by dacloo on Tue 4th Aug 2009 05:36 UTC
dacloo
Member since:
2006-07-22

iSmoke!

Reply Score: 1

Buy elsewhere ...
by JeffS on Tue 4th Aug 2009 16:55 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Fry's has been running a lot of specials on inexpensive MP3 players (don't know how good they are). Then there are Zunes (gasp!), and Sandisk, and many others.

I'm thinking of ditching my iPod, and iTunes, altogether, and getting one of these alternatives.

I have already completely ceased buying from the iTunes store (the DRM, and incompatibility with other players, is intollerable).

And Apple is clearly demonstrating that they don't give a flying leap about the quality of their products, or the safety of their customers, not to mention customer satisfaction. C'mon, giving a refund on an exploding product on the condition that the customer remains silent about it, and claiming that is "standard practice", is beyond ludicrous. That's mafia type stuff.

They are also demonstrating that they can't take their own medicine, as their legal team contacting Microsoft bitching about MS's "value" commercials forcing Apple to lower their prices, clearly demonstates.

Their was also a blog on ZDnet where the Blogger purchased AppleCare to cover his iBook, and when the screen fell apart Apple told him "f%$# you" when he asked them to fix it.

Apple sucks. Plain and simple. MacOSX is decent, being based on BSD. But their products suck. Their attitude towards customers sucks.

I really hope the feds come down hard on Apple. Consumer safety is a huge big deal. Free speech is a huge big deal.

Apple needs serious bitch slapping.

Edited 2009-08-04 16:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Buy elsewhere ...
by darknexus on Tue 4th Aug 2009 19:18 UTC in reply to "Buy elsewhere ..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, a Zune doesn't strike me as much of an alternative to an iPod, I'd say that's even worse when it comes to DRM. If you hate DRM, as you seem to, the Zune is something to avoid. Still, Sandisks, iRivers, and the like are good alternatives. If you're looking for something relatively open, one of those is probably your best bet.

Reply Score: 2

Which ipod was it
by hraq on Wed 5th Aug 2009 01:14 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

Which generation and ipod was the ones with bad reputation?
I need to avoid buying and selling them

Reply Score: 2