Print 17 comment(s) - last by DragonMaster0.. on Oct 23 at 11:01 AM

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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Dont settle
By crystal clear on 10/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: Dont settle
By Misty Dingos on 10/8/2007 12:35:56 PM , Rating: 5
Yet another reason not to work at an Apple store. The original being they suck your personality out and replace it with one of wannabe condesending tech ass. The new one being they give you a iPhone and iPod. They probably get the salary and cost back from iTunes and kick backs from ATT.

RE: Dont settle
By porkpie on 10/8/2007 3:01:53 PM , Rating: 3
If you look at the video, it doesn't appear like nearly enough burn damage for someone who "had flames shooting up to his chest". Sounds like a guy sniffing for lawsuit bucks IMO.

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)).

well that is your problem
By pinguw on 10/9/2007 4:55:24 AM , Rating: 4
Be honest, who are you going to blame? the businessmen want cheaper source to have better profit, the users want cheaper product or else they won't buy it, does anybody know that this vicious circle was created by all? you may say, hey, but iPod is expensive, do you think that the price was a just for the marketing and all the expenses that Apple did to promote the product? i work for an IT manufacture and believe me, the price should be double so you may get more decent product, for example, motherboard for core 2 duo for 40 dollars??? you know what component had to take out or replace to meet the require price? so you pay for what you get, this golden rule is undeniable, so keep buying cheap product, but note that who are you going to blame when the problem appears.
I gess by human nature is easy to blame others than ourself.

RE: well that is your problem
By Pythias on 10/9/2007 12:16:55 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree. Lowering the cost is no excuse for making a faulty, potentially dangerous product.

RE: well that is your problem
By EidolWays on 10/9/2007 9:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem with that statement being that you have no way of knowing if selecting a certain vendor means that your product will blow up. It's not like Apple wanted their products to go kablooey, after all.

That said, this is only one of two instances that have made their way around the 'Net that I know of. That hardly constitutes a high failure rate.

The iBomb
By Misty Dingos on 10/8/2007 10:40:13 AM , Rating: 3
I am sure that the charlatans at Apple are working to spin this their way. It is only a matter of time before they blame this guy for their device pulling a Fantastic Four "Flame On" moment for him.

All they will be looking for is some plausible deniability.

RE: The iBomb
By Master Kenobi on 10/8/2007 10:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
I heard about this during the weekend. Funny story. Yea, I expect the Apple PR Spindoctors are working overtime today.

RE: The iBomb
By bodar on 10/8/2007 4:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
Were his pants made in China? I'll bet Apple tries to lay blame on his "highly-flammable" pants.

As the saying goes...
By peldor on 10/8/2007 11:04:02 AM , Rating: 6
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

By TomZ on 10/8/2007 12:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Is that an iPod smokin' in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me."

Sorry, I know that was bad, but it just had to be said. :)

RE: Sorry
By marvdmartian on 10/9/2007 10:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
Like dropping a 9v battery in a pocket full of change! LOL

(I did that ONCE, as a kid, and 5 minutes later wondered why my leg was suddenly getting so hot?!? You wouldn't believe how much that little battery can heat up those coins!!)

RE: Sorry
By DragonMaster0 on 10/23/2007 11:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
Put a 0.5mm lead on a 9v battery next time, it'll turn red.

Pubic service announcement:
By Pythias on 10/8/2007 2:03:44 PM , Rating: 5
Only you can prevent crotch fires.

By jtemplin on 10/18/2007 8:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
Is that a screencap from the video where a dell laptop catches on fire? When the reports of battery fires first came out leading to the recalls, I remember having a good laugh at some of the videos out there :-D

Please say...
By AntiV6 on 10/9/2007 2:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
That this guy had red hair!

This would give a whole new meaning to the term Fire Crotch...

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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