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Exploding iPod backfires on Apple

Owner flees to The Times

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple is accused of trying to silence a father and his daughter with a legal gagging after the girl’s iPod Touch had inexplicably exploded.

Ken Stanborough,47, from Liverpool, told The Times that Apple would refund his money only if the pair signed a confidentiality agreement banning them from talking publicly about the incident.

Stanborough accidentally dropped the iPod Touch last month. It started making a hissing noise and became hotter. He also thought “vapour” could be seen leaking from the player.

Wisely, he threw the device out of his back door and, after 30 seconds, “there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air”.

In a letter to the pair, Apple said that by accepting a refund the Stanboroughs had “to keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”.

The company warned that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.

Stanborough went to the press instead.

A recent investigation by the Seattle TV station Kiro 7 found evidence of at least 15 burn and fire-related incidents blamed by iPod owners on their iPods.

News of iPods, HDDs, laptops and other gadgets bursting into flames or exploding is nothing new.

However, KIRO 7 uncovered the 15 iPod cases from an 800-page Consumer Product Safety Commission document that took over seven months to get hold of. Why? According to the outlet, because “Apple’s lawyers filed exemption after exemption”. ®

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