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iPod Nano electrical discharge sparks new battery fear

Japanese player goes 'fzzzt'

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An original first-generation iPod Nano shot out sparks while being recharged in Japan back in January, the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed today.

The incident took place on 8 January, and was duly reported to Apple, which finally got round to letting the Ministry know about the matter on 7 March.

The Ministry said no one was injured. It's not immediately clear whether the iPod, its charger or the power supply was to blame. For its part, Apple is still investigating the incident.

In December 2007, an Atlanta airport worker Danny Williams claimed his iPod Nano burst into flames while he was carrying it in one of his trouser pockets. Precisely what caused the blaze is still not known - Apple is investigating that incident too.

When an LG laptop caught fire in Korea in January - a day after the alleged Nano spark-fest, interestingly - it was subsequently alleged by a Korean government researcher that it's impossible to guarantee the safety of any given lithium-ion battery, the technology used to power the Nano and the LG laptop.

The chances of a battery going boom are about a billion to one, the researcher said, but with so many such batteries in use around the world, one's bound to come a cropper sooner or later.

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