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Apple may be having some heat problems with its iPod Nano batteries if report from one Georgia native are true.

You've heard of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPod Nano -- well how about the iFire?

Danny Williams of Douglasville, Georgia was the proud owner of a year and a half old iPod Nano.  He frequently listened to the device while working at his kiosk job at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

While at his job, Danny Williams reported experiencing a shocking incident.  He was sitting at his kiosk when he felt something hot.  He looked down and saw flames jumping up towards his chest.  He was able to put out the blaze, but it left a burn hole in his pants.  The cause appears to be his iPod Nano which had been resting in his pocket.  The only other contents of his pockets, a glossy piece of paper Williams believes protected his legs from much of the blaze.

Relatively unharmed, the Georgia native was nonetheless shaken up.  His iPod perished in the fire.  Despite the scare, he was still able to poke a bit of fun at the incident though. "If [Transportation and Safety Administration] had come by and seen me smoking, they could have honestly thought I was a terrorist," Williams said.

Williams claims Apple contacted him and requested that he send his iPod back for replacement.  Williams currently has not.

Williams' mother contacted the news because she felt the incident could have been far more harmful under different circumstances. "It could have happened when we were sleeping, it could have happened when he was driving and the outcome could have been much worse," Elaine Williams said.

The iPod Nano uses a lithium-Ion battery.  There have been numerous recalls of Li-Ion laptop batteries since 2006 including recalls by Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba.  William's iPod battery does not list the manufacturer.

WSB-TV, the Georgia station that ran the story, reported that their attempts to contact Apple were met with silence.  Apple would not comment on the safety of its batteries or how many more iFires might be occurring in the near future.  Apple has announced no recalls of iPod Nano batteries, yet.

For a video report about the incident, go here.

Donald R. Sadoway, Professor of Materials Chemistry at MIT weighed in on the debate by tying it to the latest concerns about the quality of Chinese manufactured goods.  He says that despite being a relatively long-standing technology, in place since the 1990s, Lithium-Ion batteries have recently become dangerous. "As we've moved the technology from Japan to China, we've seen a decrease in reliability, said Sadoway. “That's not to say that because it comes from China it's of inferior quality, but I don't think anyone would be surprised to learn that quality varies widely in Chinese factories."

The incident is the latest in a long string of less than positive media coverage of the Cupertino based Apple Inc., including iPhone price cuts leading to disgruntled users, iPhone "bricking", and possible class action lawsuits.



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RE: Dont settle
By AraH on 10/11/2007 12:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
either way, the product got very hot and caught/caused fire... could have been a lot worse and this guy deserves some sort of compensation (even if only to punish apple (as ANY company would deserve, not an apple bash)).


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