EU turns beady eye on flaming iPod menace
Investigates claims that 'i' is for 'incendiary'
Updated The European Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into the outbreak of flaming iPhones and iPods which has apparently raged across Europe this summer.
According to the EU Observer the Commission's Industry and Enterprise tentacle has requested information from both the company and member countries.
The commission is reacting to such reports as that of Britain's Ken Stanborough, whose daughter's iPod allegedly made a hissing noise, before heating up and spewing out vapour. When Stanborough threw the menace out of his back door, he claimed, “there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air”.
Similar, stories have emerged in France, where, reports claim, an exploding iPhone sent shards of glass into a teenager's eye just last week. Days before that case, an iPod allegedly performed a similar self-immolation. A Dutch man claimed his car was torched by a rogue iPod in July.
Apple has been accused of attempting to hush up such incidents, with Stanborough claiming the firm tried to get him to take a vow of silence on the whole affair in return for a refund.
Such an approach would be atypical for the tech industry, and would seem to be out of line with UK consumer law, and run counter to the EU's reporting mechanism for faulty products, Rapex.
The EU told EU Observer that it had requested information from the UK and France as well as Apple. He added it had not received any information via Rapex, and said it was too early to say what action, if any, might follow.
We called Apple to confirm whether it was aware of the EU action and of the cases concerned. It said it would get back to us. Maybe.
An EU spokesperson told us this afternoon: "Apple have come back to us today. They consider that these are isolated incidents and that there is not a general problem."
The spokesperson added: "For the cases which have been reported in the media, Apple are trying to get more information on the details of the incidents and will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause. This is as part of the normal process to follow up customer problems and complaints."®
Opera are not an EU business. They operate outside of the EU just as much as MS. Infact, given how many EU-based offices MS have and how many Euros they take, they're much more of a European company than Opera.
Re: The issue isn't the number of incidents
Well some bloke who claims an iPhone was propelled 10 ft up in the air claims that Apple offered him a replacement in return for keeping quiet. Sounds like a load of bull on both counts to me! Why on earth would Apple even consider that a replacement iPhone would be offset by signing a non-disclosure agreement? The whole thing makes no sense at all! Wouldn't suprise me if the bloke had dreamt the whole thing up. At worst it was probably a malfunctioning battery that caused some damage to the iPhone and when taken into a store some spotty dimwit said he could have a replacement and jokingly said "please don't go advertising it".
Also I'm pretty sure at least one or two of the other so called incidents had involved users mucking around with the innards of the device, which is generally not a good idea if you start damaging a lithium-based battery.
"Even if these few incidents are true it comes out to be like one hundred thousandth of one percent"
You have to wonder how many of these people took Apple's hush money and how many got refunds at their Apple Store/generic apple reseller though. Plus what's going to get reported are the more severe incidents.
"I blame Opera for it. They must have grassed them up too because their browser sucks"
Funny, but that's not the accusation.
The accusation is that Opera are a European business, and Microsoft are American so it's 'easy' for the EU to go after them. Also given the EU's track record with Boeing, Intel and a few others it's kind of plausable. The problem isn't that they're dealing with companies exploiting monopolies, that's all well and good - the question is proportionality, looking after your own, and the relentlessness of attacks on microsoft over IE - even though everybody knows (yes even tech-tards) that IE is a worthless piece of s**t.
It's a blatant response to the argument that if the tables were turned and Airbus were doing what Boeing were doing, would they be so relentless.. Or would the EU hush it up?
I suspect they'd hush it up.
Anyways, I've gone slightly off topic but that comment needed a response. The comptetition comission arm of the EU does a good job but they need to be seen to be *just*. And I'm typing this from a laptop running Linux before you ask.
The issue isn't the number of incidents
The issue is the fact that Apple tried to hush it up. Minor as the cases may be, Apple do themselves no favours by blackmailing someone into staying quiet.
Clearly it is...
An unintended activation of the self-destruct ability of the iPhone!
Apple did say they would fight against jailbreakers, didn't they?
Mine's the fireproof one...