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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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I have a 12" iBook G4§
By psychobriggsy on 5/30/2006 7:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
It can get quite hot in use, but never scalding.

However some software appears to interrupt the sleep process. I had a problem with Adium once that would stop the sleep process if you shut the lid - result - boiling hot iBook with lid down instead of ice cold power saving iBook.

I think it's a problem with Mac OS X not prioritising power saving actions over things like network shutdown or even application dialogue boxes. No certain information though, and I'm sure it only happens to a tiny fraction of users, but yeah, Apple's quality control does seem to be dropping, at least in terms of media reports.

RE: I have a 12" iBook G4§
By doriansdaily on 5/30/2006 10:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
To ALL of you out there talking trash, here is your reality check!

HOT FROM THE PRESS: - No pun intended!

The report blames the battery, and notes that Apple, Dell, HP, and other computer manufacturers have recalled batteries before based on potential fire hazards. It also notes that there have been 43 reports of fires caused by laptop batteries over the five years.

Although the flaming iBook seen in the report was not included in a battery recall, Apple is replacing batteries in other models. Specific 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4, or 15-inch PowerBook G4 are included in the current recall. You can check the Apple Web site to see if your laptop is included.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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