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'Hindenbook' returns to burn Apple users

It's not just Dell in battery hell

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Dell isn't the only manufacturer affected by Sony's exploding batteries. Apple has issued a recall of 1.8m batteries for PowerBooks and iBooks sold between October 2003 and August 2006 inclusive. It's the fourth time in two years that Apple has issued a recall, but this time it's by far the most serious.

"We want [users] to take the batteries out of the laptops immediately," the US Consumer Product Safety Commission told press today.

Apple's battery recall page is here. In August 2004, Apple recalled batteries in PowerBooks and iBooks sold from January that year up to the time of the recall. In May 2005, Apple issued a recall of batteries in PowerBooks and iBooks sold between October 2004 up to the time of the recall. The batteries had been manufactured by LG Chem.

And in late July, Apple recalled some MacBook Pro notebook batteries sold between February and May, for " battery performance" reasons it didn't specify, although it stressed there was no safety issue.

"In the 1990s, when Apple had a similar notebook problem - PowerBooks caught fire and damaged the company's reputation at the time - the problematic PowerBook acquired a funny nickname inside the company: 'The Hindenbook'," writes Tim Onosko in a submission to Dave Farber's IP Mailing List.

The recall of Dell's Zippo batteries will already cost Sony between $200m and $300m, according to industry analysts, or exactly $430m, if you want to be really scientific, stick your finger in the air, and guess.

Australian airline Qantas has already banned Dell laptops from being used with their batteries on board their flights. ®

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