Print 40 comment(s) - last by dagoat.. on Jun 1 at 4:25 PM

Quality control at Apple continues to go down hill

Reports are surfacing that laptop batteries have become a cause for concern. A report on CBS-affiliate WCCO talks about how a boy's Apple G4 iBook burst into flames. Dave Brown, an 11-year old boy left his iBook in the living room only to find that the carpet beneath the laptop had started to melt when he returned. In fear, his parents took the laptop outside only to find it in flames several minutes later. Other users on Apple's discussion boards have reported that their power adapters have caught on fire and even the FireWire ports on some units.

DailyTech previously reported that Apple had issued a recall for MacBook Pro batteries that were showing odd behavior. Although fires haven't broken out because of the batteries, the MacBook Pros have generated a great deal of press from the amount of heat that they release when operating. One MacBook Pro even had its MagSafe AC connector catch on fire, in which Apple was quick to have photos removed from various websites that were documenting the case.

Throughout Apple's own discussion boards, posts are abundant about Apple's recent quality control woes. Last weekend, an organized call center flood was organized by many Apple customers in an attempt to get Apple's attention about problems existing with products. Several recent reports also indicated that iPods have just only one year's worth of usable life. iPod batteries are well known to deplete after a while and lose charge capacity significantly. Because of this, the iPod battery replacement business has grown exponentially over the last two years.

It appears that OEM battery manufacturers are part of the bad equation of poor quality control. Many companies are finding more methods of cost reduction and attention to quality made electronics have gone by the wayside. Cell phones have been prone to fires and even explosions due to bad batteries. As reputable as Nokia is, some of its cell phones have been known to have bad lithium ion batteries. Nokia has stated that users with problems are more than likely to have installed counterfeit Nokia batteries.

Apple has not responded to questions about its batteries or quality control issues. There was also no feedback on whether or not the organized call center flood actually achieved a tangible reaction from Apple.

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guys, guys!
By Scabies on 5/30/2006 4:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Y'all are missing the real issue here. An 11 yr old with a laptop? Wtf?
The kid probably spilled a coke in there, or maybe was playing too much pookey-man. I'd probably burst into flames with an 11 yr old as my primary caretaker.

Also, if I read correctly, the parents took the computer outside. Direct sunlight, high humidity..? Kinda says in the first three pages of the manual about using in certain environmental conditions.

Many a Mac user (not all, chill out you with the flamethrower) isnt what we call computer saavy. Rather, they are quite computer impotent. They know the power button makes things work, and thats about it aside from basic/elementary OS functionality. Perhaps all of these Mac issues are coming from ignorant consumers.
The battery issue of iPods can be solved by not plugging it in nightly after ten minutes of listening.
The flaking paint? Next time think twice before setting your laptop on the edge of the washer during the rinse cycle.

so /flame 0. and NO comments like "My PC's never burst into flames. Macs are teh suxxorz."
</first defense of mac ever>

RE: guys, guys!
By hoppa on 5/30/2006 5:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
Does incorrect usage of a product really make it OK if it spontaneously combusts?

RE: guys, guys!
By Orpheus333 on 5/30/2006 5:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
carpet beneath the laptop had started to melt when he returned

It doesn't matter if they put it outside, the thing was melting carpet...Where would you put it? Did you see a weather report for that day? was it sunny and humid? I would use my laptop outside in our campus mall all the time.

Concerning the ipod battery issue- when is a more ideal time to charge your ipod? when you're using it during the day? or while you're sleeping? I would bet that almost 99.9% of people with electronic devices charge their laptop, cell phone, PDA, MP3 player..ect.. over night. Thats just what people do, because waiting for something to charge takes forever. I see your point about it being lightly used, but things like cordless landline phones spend a lot of their life on the charger- without bursting into flames.

RE: guys, guys!
By goku on 5/31/2006 4:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
You're an idiot, the kid left the laptop alone and it caught fire. When you spill coke on a laptop, it doesn't catch fire, it either shorts out or shuts off or does nothing (meaning it continues to function), I guess in a rare case it could catch fire. Just cause he's eleven, doesn't mean he shouldn't have a laptop, sure it's a mac so his technical prowess is probably lower overall than that of a PC user but I don't believe 11 is very young to have a laptop. I got my first laptop when I was 9 years old, $2700 Fujitsu, brand spankin new and took plenty good care of it.

Anyways by the looks of the pictures it seems obvious that the kid was not at fault.

RE: guys, guys!
By PrinceGaz on 5/31/2006 8:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
My PC's never burst into flames. Macs are teh suxxorz.

RE: guys, guys!
By lat3rintheday on 6/1/2006 1:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
Also, if I read correctly, the parents took the computer outside. Direct sunlight, high humidity..? Kinda says in the first three pages of the manual about using in certain environmental conditions.

Yes I agree. There should be a warning on these laptops, only use in a computer room, with properly controlled air flow, humidity, temperature, voltage etc, etc. Maybe Apple can now work with APC on a mobile computer room.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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