Now it's Apple's Sony battery aggro (and zoo@home)

All aboard! It's IT Blogwatch, in which Apple joins the battery recall train. Not to mention a mysterious home zoo...

Ken Mingis and Philipp Gollner have the scoop:

Apple Computer Inc. will recall 1.8 million lithium ion laptop batteries after nine devices overheated, causing minor burns in two users, U.S. safety regulators announced today. The recall is the second-biggest in U.S. history involving electronics or computers, following Dell Inc.'s recall of 4.1 million lithium ion batteries last week ... In both cases, the batteries had power cells made by Sony Corp.


They were sold with Apple ... computers from October 2003 through this month ... the 12-in. iBook G4, the 12-in. PowerBook G4 and the 15-in. PowerBook G4 ...  Apple posted a statement spelling out which models and batteries are affected.

Top Pocket clarifies:

Anyone owning a Macbook (Pro) will already be aware of the excessive heat produced by the unit but these batteries are not being recalled.
Techdirt's Carlo:

Apple's suggesting affected users should remove the batteries from their machines and use them on AC power, while they wait 4 to 6 weeks for a replacement.
Paul Miller inserts tongue into cheek:

Dell isn't the only major victim of Sony's exploding battery fiasco. (Well, if you don't count the millions of consumers potentially in danger -- and who does?) ... Apple ... [has] had their fair share of recalls already, including the unrelated MacBook Pro battery recall just last month, and another Powerbook/iBook recall last year, but this one really takes the proverbial cake. Apple says they've received nine reports of overheating, with two incidents of minor burning and a few claims of "minor" property damage.
Dell's Alex Gruzen is on-message as usual:

I wanted to take a moment to commend Apple for taking this action to protect customers. Our recall is proceeding well, based on the positive feedback we’re receiving from our customers worldwide. In the midst of all the media attention on this topic, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the facts. Our recall represents just over 15% of the 24.9 million batteries we shipped over a more than two-year period. If you consider that notebooks purchased before April 2004 are still clearly in use, then the fraction of our customers impacted by this recall gets even smaller. There were six confirmed incidents in the U.S. that helped us determine the root causes and scope of the recall. The small number of incidents reflects the reality that lithium-ion battery technology is safe and reliable

Eric Bangeman:

Flaming laptops are no fun, especially when the fires are started by faulty batteries ... The US Consumer Product Safety has a list of the affected serial numbers ... Like the batteries in the Dell laptops, those used by Apple were manufactured by Sony. In a statement today, Sony said that it does not anticipate any further recalls. The consumer electronics giant blames "microscopic metal particles" ... in rare (and highly publicized) instances, it can result in notebook flambé ... MacBook Pro ... faced with battery problems of its own. Late last month, Apple began a voluntary 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Exchange Program, which allowed many owners of the Intel-based notebooks to trade their batteries in for a free replacement ... the news that Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, and others are working towards an industry standard for lithium-ion batteries is especially welcome.
Ryan Block tells us more:

If there's two things this summer's taught us, it's that batteries are extremely combustible, and one company with a recent history of naughty mishaps can spoil a lot of peoples' fun with some lithium-ion charged explosions. This is probably why Apple, Dell, Lenovo, HP, and other laptop manufacturers are planning to hold a summit in San Jose, California with the intent to tackle some of the issues associated with li-ion cells powering today's portables, and to come to some agreement about standards for manufacturing processes and quality control. They ... are expected to lay the groundwork for such battery manufacturing standards with the hopes that no man or woman or child's box shall ever again unexpectedly explode on their table, in their car, in their home, plane, pocket, or anywhere else for that matter. Gee golly, we are so stoked at the idea of our laptops not, like, totally burning down our home that you guys soo don't even know.

<BEAVIS>Heh, heh-heh, heh. He said "box"</BEAVIS>

<EDITOR>You're fired</EDITOR>

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And finally... Mysterious Home Zoo

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at

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