When did laptops become mere notebooks? When mere notebooks began to cook thighs and burst into flames.
An Australian Mac users new MacBook bursts into flames. Who’s to blame?
I know a little something about public relations and the past year has not been good for Sony, Sony’s battery division. Or Dell. Or Apple.
Why? Flaming notebook batteries. Notebook? Yes, notebook. We can’t call the iBooks, PowerBooks, or even the new MacBooks or MacBook Pros anything except notebooks.
That’s the official company line. The word “laptop” isn’t allowed in Apple’s new product dictionary. Why?
Because the batteries in said diminutive desktop replacement portables formerly known as laptops will melt the fat off your fat lap’s top. Along with pants, skirts, pantyhose, and a few layers of skin.
So, out with laptops and in with notebooks. Of course, between you and me, we could just as easily call them The Flaming Notebooks of Death™.
Based on the latest news, even Apple has flaming notebooks from time to time. Last year, Dell was forced to recall over 4-million batteries because a few caught on fire. Apple had to recall nearly 2-million iBook and PowerBook batteries, too.
The technopyro folks traced the flaming notebooks to bad batteries. Whose bad batteries? Sony.
Sony? Sony makes batteries? They’re probably made by the same slave labor camps in China that make Apple’s iPods. It’s revenge of the Sith Workers.
I’d hate to be doing PR work for Sony’s battery division. Wait. Let me take that back. I charge by the hour, and Sony needs lots of PR help. Lots. I could use the extra work. A little part time work for Sony and I could buy a new car.
You know how this works, right. The first reports of flaming Dell notebooks hit the streets last year and every red-blooded Apple Kool-Aid drinker guffawed and pointed fingers. At Dell. Bwahahaha.
Then, seemingly hours later, the Kool-Aid taste fresh on our lips, the same fate struck Apple because the same battery maker provided said batteries to our favorite Cupertino Mac maker. Bah, humbug.
Hoo boy, did the wagging fingers start pointing. Dell’s head in Japan blamed Sony for the flaws in the Dell batteries. This week it happened again, but this time it was an Apple MacBook that reportedly caught fire. Reportedly.
In real world public relations the first thing to do when everything around you is going up in flames (figuratively and literally) is to find someone to blame.
Us Apple folks laughed at Dell until Apple announced their own Mojo deflating recall. Dell got on the PR bandwagon and blamed Sony for a bad production process.
A Japan news article claimed an Apple laptop (sic) that used Sony batteries caught fire in Japan. Apple even admitted to discovering nine incidents of battery overheating and two minor burns.
A TV station in Kansas City, MO reported that a Sony Vaio laptop computer spontaneously burst into flames. You and I both know the TV report meant notebook, not laptop. Laptop is just so 2004.
Another case of an Apple notebook (formerly referred to as “laptops”) catching fire in Japan prompted Japanese authorities to investigate the problem involving said Sony batteries.
I can see this report already. It’ll be a 127 page report, and basically it’ll say, “Sony did it. It’s their fault.”
Apparently Sony Energy Devices (one of a myriad of Sony divisions that make products for Sony and their competitors) produced the problematic lithium-ion batteries that exploded or caught fire, ostensibly, just by looking at them.
It’ll cost a few hundred million dollars to clean up the mess, not to mention bonuses for the public relations hacks.
Dell bought batteries from Sony, and is asking for 4.1-million of them back again. Apple bought them, too. And they want them back. All 1.8-million notebook batteries.
What’s our Potential Flaming Battery Count up to? It’s about 5.9-million, right? Well, 5.9-million and one, if you include the flaming battery in the Australian MacBook.
Apple and Dell do not appear to have taken as many bullets as Sony on the Public Relations Opportunity from Hell™. So far it’s all property damage and minor burns. The big damage is in reputation—Sony first, then Dell, and now Apple.
Well, if you were one of the notebook owners actually burned by the flames, then that constitutes as big damage, too. What’s all this boil down to? Another admission from those who watch such things that, well, basically, life is complicated.
Laptops are no longer for the lap. Notebooks are the truly hot item for the back to school crowd, and firemen; respectively.
If you’ve got one of the Apple laptop, uh, um, notebooks that’s on the Bad Battery List, get it exchanged sooner rather than later. If you have one of the Dell models, get it exchanged for a new MacBook or MacBook Pro.
Is your Mac notebook about to catch fire? There have only been a few reported incidents of incidiary events associated millions and millions of Macs, Dells, Sonys and other portables carrying Sony batteries, so, probably not.
But it’s one more thing to think about, right? Snakes on a Plane? Nah. With flaming notebooks being carried on tens of thousands of airplanes by hundreds of thousands of travelers, who needs terrorists? Or snakes?