mercredi 12 août 2009

Exploding apples

Ten days ago, the Times reported that the Apple iPod suddenly blew up in the hands of its owner, in response to which Apple tried to buy her silence. According to the young woman, the device starting heating up in her hand and, after about 30 seconds of this, it began emitting smoke and then exploded in the air!

Now an 18-year old kid in France (click on blog entry title for link to the article in Le Monde) has apparently experienced something similar with his girlfriend's iPhone, the screen of which exploded, hitting him in the eye. They boy's mom is considering filing a formal complaint against Apple.

According to Marie-Dominique Kolega, the mother, who is a physician, the eye injury was not serious. But the explosion was scary. The iPhone started crackling, like it was frying bacon or something. Then, the screen cracked, sending tiny shards into the air.

Mom, understandably shaken up by this incident, contacted the customer service department of Apple in France. The initial reaction was incredulity. Mom had this to say: "Que Apple fasse celui qui n'est au courant de rien, qui lave plus blanc que blanc parce qu'ils sont Apple, ça me dépasse, je trouve cela inadmissible !" a-t-elle protesté. "Quel fabricant peut prétendre avoir des appareils au-dessus de tout souci mécanique ? Pour Apple, non, ça n'arrive pas, ça n'est pas possible chez eux (...) c'est une honte !" [The fact that Apple pretends not to know a thing about it, and that they're pure as the driven snow just because they're Apple is just totally beyond me. I find that unacceptable... What manufacturer in the world can seriously claim that the malfunction of any of its products is outside the realm of possibility? According to Apple, this never happens, it's not possible at Apple... that's shameful!]

Apple has declined to comment on this latest incident.

Okay, I'm recharging the battery on mine right now. It is sitting two feet away from me. What do I do? Unplug it, turn it off, walk away? I use it to listen to music when I take my walks. It's in a plastic cover. Would that protect me if it exploded? Would I smell the burning plastic before it exploded? Are these incidents related to intensive use? If so, I should be okay. My iPod has never blown up, but it sure acts weird sometimes. Refuses to turn off, makes funny noises. Should iDevices be banned from use in flight until Apple deals with the problem? I don't want to be sitting in the nearest seat when someone's iPhone explodes in midair.

Imagine the lawsuits. Within a week, the major airlines will ban their use or (more likely) issue a disclaimer to the effect that they are not responsible for any third party damage due to exploding hand-held devices used in-flight.