Another Bite out of the Apple?

Does anyone think of the saying “when it rains, it pours” when reading this? Sony’s clear lack of QA has now led to Apple initiating the second biggest recall in U.S. history, quick on the heels of the Dell recall. At a time when Apple just settled with Creative over patent infringement (potentially losing some market share and revenue in the future, depending on Creative’s success) with the iPod, and having no established direction on future iPod development, this could not come at a worse time for Apple. Here is the reason for the recall:<O:p</O:p

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two consumers who received minor burns after handling overheated computers. Apple has also received reports of minor property damage, but no serious injuries have been reported.<O:p</O:p

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With 1.8 million batteries at stake, this now raises the total officially counted to 5.9 million Sony batteries.

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As HP officially labeled this initially “A Dell issue,” will HP also try to pin this obvious Sony manufacturing problem on Apple as well? Curiously, while HP was documented as receiving and using Sony batteries, it now denies this. As for Apple, this cannot bode well, since all these “setbacks” have happened in close proximity to each other. It is possible that some might question Apple’s reliability due to this issue, or even stop buying Apple altogether. This article (see independent analyst Robert Kay’s quote) also indicts Sony further on knowingly poor manufacturing—and yet still trying to palm it off to consumers as “good” or otherwise defect-free; it proves yet again that in “modern-day” business, not only is one’s past reputation potentially immaterial to current product quality, but it is also obvious how business will try to cut corners in different ways, just to get that much more profit—but then leave it to the consumers to discover if it is well-made or not. In increasing numbers of cases, companies throw “care for the consumer” to the winds, and go to the extreme of seeing if they can do something without getting caught at it. Furthermore, this raises serious questions about HP’s corporate approach to this issue, especially about HP’s honesty—at least regarding the products it uses.