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  • Apple Finally Admits "Rare" Nano Meltdowns

    image via appledefects.com

    Apple has acknowledged for the first time that batteries in some 1st generation iPod nano units sold in 2005 and 2006 can overheat, kill the device, and melt the case. A knowledge base article described the problem, reported on [ame="http://forums.ilounge.com/showthread.php?t=121264"]iPod user forums[/ame] for some time, and indicated support was available, a suggestion that the problem may be covered under AppleCare.

    The knowledge base article, "iPod nano (1st generation): Rare cases of battery overheating," describes the battery overheating issue, but calls it "rare" and says it's not associated with a single battery manufacturer:

    Apple has determined that in very rare cases, batteries in the iPod nano (1st generation) sold between September 2005 and December 2006, may overheat and prevent the iPod nano from working and deform it.

    Apple has received very few reports of such incidents (less than 0.001 percent) and the issue has been traced to a single battery supplier. There have been no reports of serious injuries or property damage. Additionally, there have been no reports of such incidents with any other iPod nano model.
    Symptoms of the problem that would qualify a stricken iPod include discoloration, overheating, and deformation of the case near the battery enclosure. The problem most likely need not be as severe as the photo above to qualify the unit for service or - one would hope - replacement.

    An objective observer could raise the question as to why Apple is choosing this moment to come forward and pay attention to a problem that has been reported since these units - four years old in some circumstances - came off the assembly line. While taking responsibility is always to be applauded, the timing suggests there may have been some pressure applied to Apple in this case.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Finally Admits "Rare" Nano Meltdowns started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. florevil's Avatar
      florevil -
      ipod nano got owned :P
    1. sayam's Avatar
      sayam -
      the image hurts me
    1. Kruejl's Avatar
      Kruejl -
      "deform it". LOL, I'd say that's an understatement.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      ooh fun! i got rid of my first gen a while ago... of well...
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      That is kind of funny
    1. DontBeJealous's Avatar
      DontBeJealous -
      Thats gotta be a hoax!
    1. nighthawk283's Avatar
      nighthawk283 -
      It's possible for anything that has a battery can overheat or short out
    1. andypropaganda's Avatar
      andypropaganda -
      Hey Paul,

      Don't mean to be a douche, but you said that they are not narrowing it down to one battery manufacturer and in your quote it says that they have narrowed it down to just one. Just thought I'd point that out.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i still have my first gen, i think i will be more carefull around it now
    1. iN2K's Avatar
      iN2K -
      In the picture it looks like it caught fire.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      If that happened to me. I make sure I get hurt really bad. Then take Apple to court.

      Haha Just Kidding. I hope nobody get hurt on the "Meltdowns"
    1. 08lexus250's Avatar
      08lexus250 -
      lol... that sucker looks so deformed
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      Wow that's crazy what's to say this couldn't happen to any othe apple device such as our phones? I sure hope not cause i've encountered some over heating and the phone shutting down by itself
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      It looks like as if someone lit on some flame and put it near the iPod nano.
    1. jrentzke's Avatar
      jrentzke -
      Maybe this is why Apple suddenly acknowledged the problem:

      Apple tried to silence owner of exploding iPod with gagging order - Times Online

      From The Times
      August 3, 2009

      Apple tried to silence owner of exploding iPod with gagging order

      Ellie Stanborough with the exploding ipod

      (Steve Morgan/The Times)

      Ellie Stanborough, 11, with the device. "It made a hissing noise and went pop"
      Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter

      Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company.

      The Times has learnt that the company would offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement.

      The case echoes previous circumstances in which Apple attempted to hush up incidents when its devices overheated.

      Ken Stanborough, 47, from Liverpool, dropped his 11-year-old daughter Ellie’s iPod Touch last month. “It made a hissing noise,” he said. “I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour”. Mr Stanborough said he threw the device out of his back door, where “within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air”.

      Mr Stanborough contacted Apple and Argos, where he had bought the device for 162. After being passed around several departments, he spoke to an Apple executive on the telephone. As a result of the conversation, Apple sent a letter to Mr Stanborough denying liability but offering a refund.

      The letter also stated that, in accepting the money, Mr Stanborough was to “agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, and that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.

      “I thought it was a very disturbing letter,” said Mr Stanborough, who is self-employed and works in electronic security. He refused to sign it.

      “They’re putting a life sentence on myself, my daughter and Ellie’s mum, not to say anything to anyone. If we inadvertently did say anything, no matter what, they would take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling.

      “We didn’t ask for compensation, we just asked for our money back,” he added.

      Last week it emerged that Apple had tried to keep a number of cases where its iPod digital music players had started to smoke, burst into flames and even burned their owners, out of the public eye.

      An American reporter obtained 800 pages of documentation on the cases from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) following a Freedom of Information Act request in that country. However, she was unable to get hold of the documents for months after “Apple’s lawyers filed exemption after exemption”.

      In those cases, CPSC investigators suggested that the iPods’ lithium ion batteries could be the source of the problem.

      In 2006 Apple and Dell recalled millions of lithium ion batteries because of overheating problems in laptop computers causing fires — some of the biggest consumer electronics recalls in history. As of September last year, 173,000,000 iPods have been sold worldwide.

      A number of bloggers have reported cases where iPods have exploded — usually involving older versions of the digital music players. Last year the Japanese Government warned that iPod Nanos presented a potential fire risk, saying there had been 14 cases in the country where the players had caught alight, with two people suffering minor burns.

      In March, a mother in Ohio began court proceedings against Apple, after her son’s iPod Touch allegedly exploded in his pocket, burning his leg.

      An Apple spokesman said that, as the company had not looked at the Stanboroughs’ damaged iPod, it could not comment. Argos also refused to comment.

      The Trading Standards Institute said that it could not comment on whether such letters were standard across the industry, but that it could understand that Apple would want to protect its reputation by trying to reach a confidential settlement.
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      Hmm I wonder if I can get some plastic and make myself a broken nano X-D.
    1. petterloco1's Avatar
      petterloco1 -
      Warning iPods are dangerous keep away from children