Boy, things just keep getting better for my PowerBook and me. Just days after writing about my experience with a mailbox-crushing computer virus that, interestingly, turned out to be the Windows Netsky bug, I get an email from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) telling me that "certain lithium ion rechargeable batteries" sold since the beginning of this year are being recalled because they may overheat, posing a fire hazard. Yikes.
Do I have one? Let's find out. (Cue sounds of me unplugging and flipping over my computer and removing the battery.)
Well, lookee here. Yep, I've got one of the bad ones. I bought my PowerBook last Christmas, right about the time Apple says LG Chem of South Korea made a batch of batteries with some unfriendly cells.
On the plus side, Apple says it will send me a new battery free of charge, and even if I decide to be a risk-taker and stay with what I've got, at least I'll be kept warm while working during the winter. (My basement office gets a little chilly.)
The official email from Apple says the affected batteries were designed for the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook and were produced during the last week of December. The company also says there have been four reports of overheating incidences, but that no injuries have been reported. (All of the details on the recall, and how to order a replacement battery, can be found here.)
Ironically, this isn't the first time that Apple has had battery problems. Fool Alyce Lomax reported in February that iPod batteries would fade after a few charges, delivering far less than the eight hours of life advertised. The problems were widely broadcast on Viacom's (NYSE: VIA ) MTV and became the subject of class action lawsuits in California.
From what I can tell, the two juicy incidences are unrelated -- an Apple-related blog reports that Sony (NYSE: SNE ) produces the iPod battery. Still, with the company under attack on so many competitive fronts, the last thing Apple needs is a reputation for production problems like those at Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) . And, frankly, I'm ready for some good news.
Are you having problems with your Apple system? Consult the experts at the Apple User's Group for help.