Report: Three Apple employees treated after iPad battery "explodes" at store

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Curious minds want to know, is “container of sand” a standard item in the back of Apple stores? That is, had Apple anticipated this scenario? If so, then both “well done” and WTF because I’m writing this on an iPad in bed.

Edit: Now have bucket of sand beside bed.


I hope so. Lithium-Ion batteries are no joke when exposed to air, and given that one of the functions of an Apple store is diagnosing potentially damaged devices that may not be in the best state, to begin with, some basic precautions would be welcome.


I’ve heard that an iPhone on fire lets you jump the Genius Bar queue. I would guess that also applies to iPad.


Why did the employees detonate the battery?


It was the terrists! I heard it on Fox!


Make sure it is iSand.


There is a petty and immature part of me, the same part that will not let go of a grudge, that says “this is what happens when your batteries are supposed to do this.”

I visited an Apple Store with a MacBook Pro battery that was expanding and had split its seams. It wasn’t yet leaking, but I’d hoped that they might replace it in the name of, y’know, safety. (And, sure, frugality.) Granted, the battery was at least 3 years old by that point, but it still worked – it held a charge and would power the laptop. However, the expanded battery pressed up against the trackpad, causing it to malfunction (unless and until I removed the battery).

The Genius might’ve simply told me that it was out of warranty, that they weren’t going to give me another one and that I’d need to buy a new one myself. Instead he told me that the battery was supposed to do this.
I said “it’s supposed to split open?”
He said that they do this when they get old. I pointed out that the casing was peeled open and it might start leaking, but he stuck to his story. I went around couple more times with him, gave up and told him to keep the battery (figuring they’d at least have a better way to get rid of it).

It was one thing if they weren’t going to replace it, but another to bullshit me that the battery is supposed to split open. It didn’t occur to me until later that I might’ve asked for a manager, or contacted someone at headquarters about the line of bullshit. I bought a non-Apple replacement (which worked for at least as long as the original battery, but did not ever split apart) and didn’t pursue the expanding battery any further.


Dude, you probably were just holding it wrong.


While it’s apparently not hard to get Apple to officially frustrate you on support issues, I’m fairly certain they never told this wiz-kid that lithium batteries are supposed to have split casings. That’s pretty much on him. In fact, a skilled complainer could probably have got a free battery out of an interaction like that.

(It’s always boggled my mind that Apple calls front-line retail support staff “Geniuses”. I’m sure most of them are helpful and clean and all, but jeez, talk about hubris)


I turns out that those employees were not being treated for smoke inhalation. In fact, a customer had asked them to try and read the Terms and Conditions out loud.


The “Genius bar” is a serious misnomer. I have heard many stories of people being given bad advice in general by so-called geniuses.

Lithium ion batteries are basically little fire bombs that will not ignite or blow up most of the time, if you treat them properly. The number of people who don’t treat them properly is staggering. Given the huge number of Apple customers out there, the only surprising thing about this story is that we don’t hear about exploding Ibatteries more often.

Protips: the battery in your device gets unhappy if you leave it to bake in the car on a sunny summer day, or otherwise let it get significantly hotter than body temperature. It gets unhappy if you leave it plugged in all the time and never let it discharge. An unhappy battery will usually just die prematurely (with or without swelling up like a balloon), but sometimes it will decide to try to take you out before it goes.


Yeah, that’s me, slow on my feet. Hours, days, weeks, months, or years later I’ll realize what I should’ve said.

I guess I simply wasn’t expecting the bullshit, and so it didn’t compute (again, I might’ve expected “sorry, no”). Other times I’ll walk into a place, expecting an argument (and already a little agitated), but I’ll get what I wanted/needed with no fuss.


So I’m gathering we should switch to desktops and stop using phones and ipads pretty much forever.

Well. Mobile had a good run.

Any idea if this was an original battery or some Chinese replacement? At least you can bring them on a plane unlike those lethal containers of water or toothpaste.

Do not taunt Lithy fun bomb.


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