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Apple touts tips to sidestep iPod earphone electric shocks

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Sales of Apple earbuds to joggers, Australians, desert dwellers and... er... anyone with dry skin look set to slide. Why? Because Apple’s warned that its headphones can give off shocks of static electricity.

The firm has posted a warning on its website admitting that “it’s possible to receive a small and quick electrical (static) shock from your earbuds” when they're plugged into an iPod or iPhone.

The device holds the static charge, Apple said, which then discharges itself through the earbuds. Apple also warned that shocks are possible on non-Apple branded earbuds.

The shocking condition, Apple admitted, is often caused by using the cans in areas with "very dry air". So British troops currently serving in Afghanistan should be on their guard, as should air-conditioner salespeople and anyone planning a trip to see the pyramids.

But Apple's not about to leave customers high and dry. It’s listed several ideas for reducing the risk of a static shock. For example, you could try wearing different clothes – or perhaps none at all – because, presumably, a charge can be generated by the earphone cord rubbing across your clothing.

"Touch a grounded unpainted metal object before inserting the headphones," the Mac maker cheerfully offers. We always keep one of these handy for such a purpose.

You may also want to consider keeping your Apple device out of the wind, bulk-buying "anti-static hand lotion" if you’ve very dry hands or avoid frequently taking your iPod out of your pocket because “rubbing the device on certain materials can cause a static build up”.

"There are a number of anti-static sprays that can be sprayed into the air that can be used to reduce static," Apple suggests.

More information’s available online. ®

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