The iPhone's Out of Juice

What is it with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and power supplies? Once the victim of faulty batteries manufactured by Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) , the iEmpire this week said it will recall millions of power adapters for its 3G iPhones. Ouch.

Apparently, the prongs on the 3G adapters can "break off and remain in a power outlet, creating a risk of electric shock," Apple said in a statement. All handsets sold between mid-July and now in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, and other Latin American nations are affected.

Should investors be troubled by the news? I don't see why. I've had the battery on my wife's G4 PowerBook replaced. Last month, a Japanese subsidiary offered to replace iPod nano batteries when overheating issues arose, according to ComputerWorld. Apple will do what it must to keep its customers happy.

If you want to be bothered by something, fret that this recall revolves around a design issue. Can you fathom that? When's the last time Apple got dinged for poor design? The Carter administration, perhaps?

That's why this otherwise minor news gets treatment here. We wouldn't care if Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , Acer, Lenovo, or Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) suffered a similar flaw. They're just builders, not designers.

Not so for Apple, whose equipment often conjures images of Marc Jacobs. Today, alas, it's looking surprisingly like a Target knockoff. Back to the drawing boards, sirs.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers owned a classic MacBook Pro at the time of publication, but he lacks shares in any of the companies mentioned here. Tim also hunts for the best of tech as a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers team. See all of Tim's Foolish writings. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy fondly recalls its days on the nightclub circuit. It could tell you some stories.


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