Apple blames Beats headphones explosion on third-party batteries

Posted:
in General Discussion
In a statement published on Friday, an Apple representative blamed the explosion of an Australian woman's Beats headphones on her using third-party batteries, rather than any product defects.




The woman was sleeping on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne in February when she woke up to the sound of the explosion and a burning sensation, the Australian Associated Press said. Her face, hands, and hair were burned, and lawyers for the woman have been seeking compensation for the lost headphones as well as ruined clothing.

"Our investigation indicated the issue was caused by a third-party battery," Apple said in a statement shared by the woman's lawyers.

The woman noted however that she was using AAA batteries bought in Australia, and that there wasn't much alternative.

"The headphones don't work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones -- or their packaging -- did it specify which brand of batteries should be used," she said.

While Apple hasn't had to deal with the same level of trouble as Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, it does periodically receive complaints about iPhones, iPods, and other devices spontaneously catching on fire. In 2011 for instance it finally began a general replacement program for the first-generation iPod nano, having launched a more limited program in 2008 after a series of fires.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,495member
    While I'm totally on Apple's side on this, I'm curious what Apple's recommendation would have been.  If Apple is blaming 3rd-party batteries, does Apple provide Apple-branded AAA batteries?

    This is the problem with mixing and matching stuff.  I would not hesitate to buy a pack of batteries from Duracell, Energizer, or Enloops to use in my electronics.  And if they explode, I certainly would not be blaming Apple for it.  I wonder if her lawyers went after the battery manufacturer or just decided that suing Apple is an easier (although highly unsuccessful) 3rd party.

    Can trust anything from anyone anymore.
  • Reply 2 of 85
    IronheadIronhead Posts: 22member
    So sue the battery company, which is strangely not called out in the article.
    longpathroundaboutnowericthehalfbeegenovellecaliSolichiaStrangeDayspscooter63mike1
  • Reply 3 of 85
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    Ironhead said:
    So sue the battery company, which is strangely not called out in the article.
    Probably a sub-par Chinese brand. 

    Also, lawyers sue the biggest target, so of course Apple will be named and not some back-alley battery manufacturer.
    magman1979calisphericwatto_cobraredgeminipacharlesatlas
  • Reply 4 of 85
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,495member
    Ironhead said:
    So sue the battery company, which is strangely not called out in the article.
    Seriously... so if I install a new car battery from Autozone for my Ford and it explodes, I can sue Ford?
    georgie01longpathpscooter63teejay2012sandormagman1979irelandcalichiaStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 85
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,285member
    How is that picture a woman?!
  • Reply 6 of 85
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 591member
    do you want money for the facial burns and hair loss? "No, just a new pair of headphones and a replacement t-shirt"
    calichiaStrangeDayspscooter63redgeminipastarwars
  • Reply 7 of 85
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    How is that picture a woman?!
    That's scorched skin, not muttonchops.
    Roger_FingasSolichiafastasleepdysamoriaredgeminipa[Deleted User]
  • Reply 8 of 85
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,789member
    Yeah why are they asking Apple to compensate them if its the batteries? It doesn't matter if it says anything on the outside of the box. The batteries exploded, plain and simple. It doesn't matter what they were in. If they can show that the headphones caused the batteries to explode thats a different story, but if its just simply the batteries themselves that had fault you need to look to the battery manufacturer, not Apple. But like @SpamSandwich said, lawyers always go to the company with the most money. 
    edited May 2017 SolichiaStrangeDaysredgeminipaurahara
  • Reply 9 of 85
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,414member
    So, ultimately, it'll be a case of a battery of lawyers against the lawyers of batteries?
    edited May 2017 longpathpscooter63magman1979WestCoasterRayz2016irelandcalichiaStrangeDaysbaconstang
  • Reply 10 of 85
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 224member
    macxpress said:
    Yeah why are they asking Apple to compensate them if its the batteries? It doesn't matter if it says anything on the outside of the box. The batteries exploded, plain and simple. It doesn't matter what they were in. If they can show that the headphones caused the batteries to explode thats a different story, but if its just simply the batteries themselves that had fault you need to look to the battery manufacturer, not Apple. But like @SpamSandwich said, lawyers always go to the company with the most money. 
    Exactly. I don't think Apple is saying she needs to use a specific battery but rather that it wasn't Apple's battery that exploded and she needs to direct her attention to who made the battery.
    boredumbshaminocaliStrangeDaysbaconstang2old4fun
  • Reply 11 of 85
    Which beats headphones use AAA batteries??
  • Reply 12 of 85
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    1) To me, the title and article make it sound like Apple is blaming the customer on having used 3rd-party batteries at all, but that's silly since Apple doesn't make AAA.

    2) Has anyone else jumped from disposable batteries to only using Eneloop (or similar rechargeable batteries) for all their needs. I only need AA, AAA, and a few 9-Volts these days. They last considerably longer than disposable batteries and my math says it'll reduce both my cost and waste.
    baconstangmejsricdysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 85
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,611member
    Headline is inaccurate. The headphones did not explode. The batteries did.
    shaminoirelandcalichiaStrangeDaysmike1mejsricdysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 85
    @Boreddumb That's funny, right there.
  • Reply 15 of 85
    jbishop1039jbishop1039 Posts: 242member
    They used to sell batteries
    Apple MC500LL/A Battery Charger with six NiMH batteries https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XIJ566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nIYhzbT1VCTQW
    dysamoriaspinnyd
  • Reply 16 of 85
    robjnrobjn Posts: 203member
    Battery manufacturers have to meet standards. Batteries that do not meet safety standards should not be on sale anywhere. Apple should be able to say that any brand of AAA batteries that meets standards will be safe.

    Unfortunately there are corner cutting manufacturers and careless retailers all over the world that are pushing cheaply made batteries that are exposing us to danger.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 17 of 85
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    Which beats headphones use AAA batteries??
    At least the Beats Studio, according to a quick search.

    dysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 85
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    They used to sell batteries
    Apple MC500LL/A Battery Charger with six NiMH batteries https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XIJ566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nIYhzbT1VCTQW
    Did they stop selling those for their keyboard and trackpad? Note those are AA, so they won't work in these headphones.
  • Reply 19 of 85
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 887member
    Ironhead said:
    So sue the battery company, which is strangely not called out in the article.
    That is odd..
  • Reply 20 of 85
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    How is that picture a woman?!
    Because it's a woman with a black face from the AAA battery explosion.
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