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Apple is investigating media reports of at least one iPhone exploding, a claim which does not stretch far from similarly reported iPod cases.

Media reports claiming that one or more iPhones have exploded in Europe have led Apple to investigate, according to Reuters.  

One such report includes the case of an 18-year-old iPhone user in France who claims to have heard a hissing noise coming from his girlfriend’s iPhone before it shattered. The teenager reportedly suffered minimal injuries from the incident, which resulted in his eye being struck by a piece of iPhone glass, as reported by Google.

Helen Kearns, European Commission Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, explained the following at a news briefing: "Apple has come back to us ... and what they've said to us is that they consider these are isolated incidents. They don't consider that there's a general problem."

"They're trying to get more information on the specific details of those incidents, and they will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause," Kearns added.

Although the current media reports share a small amount of explosion cases for the iPhone, numerous similar cases have been reported by users of the iPod. According to Google, in late July, Seattle-based television news station KIRO reported that an “alarming number” of iPods had “suddenly burst into flames and smoke, injuring people and damaging property."

KIRO reported on the existence of some 800 pages of iPod-specific documents that included details on 15 burn and fire-related incidents - none of which were serious - reportedly caused by iPods. The Consumer Product Safety Commission pointed out that this number of incident claims existed as low compared to the significantly large amount of the millions of iPods that have been sold.

KIRO eventually concluded that overheated lithium ion batteries appeared to be the main cause of these issues. After Apple implemented new battery technology, incident claims lessened.

As for the case of exploding iPhone claims, a spokesman for Apple Europe Ltd. explained that Apple is aware of the media reports: "We are waiting to receive the iPhones from the customers. Until we have the full details, we don't have anything further to add."

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RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By sebmel on 8/19/2009 1:49:19 PM , Rating: -1
It's clear to me, as you write more, that you are an intelligent person and your views are more sophisticated than I had initially assumed. Apologise for previous mocking/juvenility on my part.

I agree with you that consumer satisfaction surveys have a problem. Aside from the issues you mention (with which I concur), as the computer industry improves as a whole a customer's view of a new product is often formed by comparison with an older generation or a rival product.

How can this be resolved? Tech sites aren't unbiased, favouring advertisers and pandering to a select audience, as they often do.

Consumer satisfaction surveyors know they have a problem and one can expect that the better ones will make some attempt to target questions in such a way as to extract information of some value.

Then one can consider the intelligence and expectations of purchasers. People buying kool-aid probably have different expectations than those buying vintage port. It isn't too risky an assumption to accept that better educated consumers are more demanding than those less ambitious, less talented, or less blessed with opportunity.

So where do Apple customers sit in relation to the market as a whole? The research on that is very clear. Not only are they better off (the usual assumption) but they are also better educated. Research into Mac forums has demonstrated higher vocabulary. Sales at universities in the US show a much higher proportion of Macs than are present in the population as a whole: the last general figure I saw showed twice the level of Macs at university than in the population as a whole (16%).

One can, thus, expect that the consumers of those Macs are reasonably discerning. Certainly more so than the mean consumer. It isn't unreasonable, therefore, to assume they are not easily pleased. Clearly for many years they went out of their way to choose a computer that caused them some compatibility issues because they weren't pleased with what Microsoft were offering them.

People in the music, video and graphics industries weren't choosing these computers, tools on which they depended for their livelihoods, simply because of the colour of their cases.

It isn't exactly logical to see a group of consumers that used to represent a selective 2% being described regularly on this site as a flock of sheep. Some of the 98% are describing a very active choice as 'following the herd'.

Finishing, I recognise your concerns and accept that there are consumers for all products who make uninformed comments and decisions. I see many reasons not to accept that that generally characterises the market for Apple products. Even though they are selling more products now and the independent confidence necessary to choose one no longer needs to be as high as it did, it still needs to be much higher than that needed to choose a product in the 90% category.

That doesn't mean that buying a PC is not the right thing to do in many situations. It simply means that describing Apple product consumers as a whole as undiscerning is unsubstantiated and runs contrary to the evidence available.

By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 2:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Less diversity means more fanaticism. I have little doubt that the Mac purchasing minority fits the averages you mentioned, but no piece of paper from any educational institution or any level of vocabulary expansion or any amount of money in the bank immunizes or even reliably insulates someone from gullibility. Sophisticated and/or discerning tastes can be (and are) taken advantage of just as easily as any other.

By sigmatau on 8/19/2009 3:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. You should be in a quotes book, lol.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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