Matsushita, better-known by its Panasonic brand name, joined the party this week with its own recall of 6,000 notebook batteries sold in Japan. This most recent recall isn’t nearly as large as the ones that involved 4.1 million batteries sold by Dell and 1.8 million batteries sold by Apple, but it’s another example of the care and attention being paid to notebook batteries these days.
Of course, it’s not just notebook batteries that are causing problems. In June, Hewlett-Packard announced a recall of about 679,000 digital cameras that could catch fire if the cameras tried to apply a charge to a nonrechargable battery. Cell phone makers have dealt with problems from batteries for years, including several reported incidents of exploding phones. With scary footage of flaming notebooks on the evening news and the Internet, many notebook users want to know if their system could be at risk. Here’s a list of who has recalled batteries so far, and where to turn for information.
Apple’s invitations to their 12 September 2006 press event (the un-keynote) feature a large Apple logo bathed in Hollywood-style search lights with copy reading “It’s Showtime” across the bottom. A thinly veiled reference to the movie download service that the company appears to ready to announce in six days.
“They’ve done really well in music, they’ve done well in music videos and they’ve done well in TV shows, so logically movies are the next area of focus,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research who has a “buy” rating on the stock. “It’s a first kind of bigger step in the direction of movie content.”
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.
Korea’s national airline, Korean Air, has forbidden the use of Apple and Dell laptops during flights in response to the recent battery recall by both firms. The ban came into effect on 30 August and is designed to protect passengers from any accidental fires. Apple and Dell have both issued battery recalls in connection with a large batch (6 million) of potentially faulty Sony battery cores.
Chris Price has found an update on MacBook Random Shutdown Syndrome (RSS). Apple has isolated it to a design flaw in the heatsink. He called Apple and asked why his MacBook repair was “on hold” and they said that they were waiting for one part, a heatsink.
It’s hard to say what’s wrong with it, it could be a flaw with the installation (like, a gallon of thermal grease), or something with the design of the unit itself. I suspect that they’ve retooled the heatsink since many people are listed as “on hold” waiting for this one part.
UPDATED 01 September 2006:
Apple has posted a ridiculous knowledge base article on the topic that simply says “If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service.”
Ever wonder what’s inside your Apple battery pack? It turns out that they’re not that complicated inside, but it’s amazing how much power these little cluster of cells can hold.
I took an iBook G3 (dual USB) battery apart on the advice of Coconut Battery which told me that after 496 load cycles, this battery had seen better days.
As you can see in this screen shot, the battery had 14 mAh Battery Capacity left compared to an Original Battery Capacity of 4000 mAh. In addition to lacking capacity the battery pack wasn’t charging.
Time to take it apart!
Click through for a photo dissection of an Apple battery pack on The Apple Core.
2 weeks ago, I started hearing this really loud noise coming from the right side of my MacBook Pro (it’s not the hard drive). The first time, it was so loud, I thought my computer was going to explode!
I sent it to Apple… and 5 days later, I got my computer back. To my surprise, the noise was still there (I also had a faulty right speaker with crappy sound quality… which they didn’t fix either).
This time, I made a video of the sound. Tell me if you’ve heard this before, because I sure haven’t… it’s incredible. My computer is at AppleCare, again, and I’ve argued with a Genius at the Genius bar. I said that they had to make it up for me, somehow. He said that if they make the mistake again, then… we’ll talk about something else. I said I didn’t agree. Now I’m trying to see how I can communicate with someone to tell them my situation.
Here’s the video with the incredible noise:
Greenpeace recently released a “Guide to Greener Electronics,” which specifically called attention to Apple and assigned the company a failing grade.
But just this April, the Sierra Club named Apple a “Forward Green Leader,” as one of the top ten environmentally progressive companies.
How is that possible? It turns out that the Greenpeace report was written by a member of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, the grandstanding group that staged demonstrations last year complaining that consumers would throw away their iPod rather than replace its battery.
Both the SVTC campaign and the Greenpeace report were both factually flawed and grossly misleading. Here’s an evaluation of the claims each made, in comparison with the facts. Read More…
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted.com
Although I previously reported that Apple is not giving a keynote address at Apple-Expo in Paris in two weeks, Mac4Ever and HardMac are reporting that Apple is holding a press event on 12 September in San Francisco, the same date as the kickoff of Apple-Expo. The sites also indicate that the press event is being relayed to Apple’s European headquarters in London.
In addition to the un-keynote there’s another good indication that new Apple products are in the pipeline: inventory. When product delivery times start to drift out past a few weeks (with the exception of immediately after a hot new product in announced, of course) you can be pretty sure that either one of two things are happening: 1) there’s a part shortage or some other manufacturing hold up, or 2) Apple is clearing out inventory to make way for a new product.
Some Apple products are pretty heavily constrained right now, including the MacBook and the iSight. Does that mean that new products are imminent? Not necessarily, but it could. Due to Apple’s secrecy, the rumor mill is always speculating about when new products will be announced, and now that there’s an official press event during Apple-Expo we can turn our attention to what Apple may or may not announce.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.