Apple Japan to replace overheating iPod Nanos

Friday, August 13, 2010

The first-generation iPod Nano
Image: Boereck.

In an online statement, the Japanese unit of Apple Inc. said that it will replace overheating first-generation iPod Nanos. Apple had originally only offered to replace the defective batteries, not the whole device. The change came after Apple received criticism from the Japanese government over the defective batteries in the portable music players.

The affected iPod model is the first-generation iPod Nano, about 1.8 million of which were sold in Japan from September 2005–December 2006. Apple stated that the "very rare cases of overheating" were caused by faulty batteries traced back to a single supplier, whose name was not given. According to Apple, other iPod Nanos did not have the issue, which occurs during the recharging process..

Around 60 cases of malfunctioning iPods overheating have been reported, causing a total of six fires and leaving four people with minor burns. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said that it had been aware of 27 accidents related to the devices. Last week, METI announced that Apple had informed it of 34 additional overheating incidents, which the company called "non-serious." The ministry responded by calling Apple's postponement of the report "truly regrettable."

Earlier, Apple Japan had posted information about the faulty devices on their website, but was criticized for not displaying the warnings in a place where they could be easily found. Apple was told to put an "easy to understand" notice on their website detailing how consumers could get replacement batteries for their iPods. METI later reported that Apple appeared to have complied with the order.