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Apple Recalls First-Generation iPod nano for Battery Issue

Apple Recalls First-Generation iPod nano for Battery Issue
By Adam Dickter

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Apple blamed "a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect" for the iPod nano issue, but stressed, "While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages." Given the staggering number of iPods sold, the number of overheating incidents is minuscule.

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iPod nano

Apple's iPod nano has always been a hot consumer item, but it may get a little too hot. Dangerous, even.

So the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer and mobile devices giant is asking people who bought the first-generation device, circa 2005, to turn it in for a replacement.

Safety Risk

"Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk," the company said in a post in its support forum for the nano. "Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006."

Apple blamed "a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect" for the issue, but stressed, "While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages."

Given the staggering number of iPods sold since in the near-decade since the groundbreaking MP3 was introduced -- more than 150 million since 2002 -- the number of overheating incidents is minuscule, but may be more than Apple would like to admit.

A Seattle TV station, KIRO, in 2008 filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request with the Consumer Product Safety Commission asking for an account of all overheating complaints related to the iPod. Apple's lawyers blocked the request, KIRO said.

When it finally received the documents, the station said, there were 15 incidents of sparks, smoke and damaged furniture between 2005 and 2008.

A Cincinnati mother sued Apple for $225,000 in 2009 after she said an overheated iPod Touch burned through her son's pants and burned his leg. The status of that case is unclear.

The recall does not affect other models of the iPod, and the company appears to be concerned about an increased threat in older devices.

"They identified this problem a while ago, they're just looping back now that the batteries are getting older -- age raises the failure rate," said Avi Greengart, consumer devices analyst at Current Analysis.

The user forum post urges first-generation nano users to stop using them and follow online steps to order a free replacement. Users must enter a serial number to make sure it is eligible for the replacement, which will take about six weeks from the day the older one is returned.

Feeling The Heat

The iPod is far from the only consumer device facing overheating problems as manufacturers try to keep up with the high power demand of increasingly powerful devices.

Last month alone, computer accessory maker Targus recalled eight models of its laptop power adapters because of overheating risk, and Sony Corp. recalled 1.6 million 40-inch, flat-panel LCD Bravia TVs sold since 2007 because about a dozen of them had overheated and some had partially melted.

In May, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq recalled some lithium-ion batteries for notebooks, and Sony recalled battery packs for Lenovo, Apple, Toshiba and Dell computers in 2006.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2011-11-15 @ 11:24am PT
If you have a first gen nano, which generation of nano will they replace it with?

Posted: 2011-11-15 @ 10:40am PT
what is the link to check if my lap-top battery is covered by the recall


Posted: 2011-11-15 @ 4:28am PT
where is the link to check to see if your ipod is covered by the recall??


Posted: 2011-11-14 @ 7:10pm PT
thanks i still have my old nano and would love to trade it in is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.

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