As I've mentioned before, there's a long standing problem with iPhones and iPod seriously overheating. And according to various reports, Apple has been covering up problems, including trying to block reporters from getting information on the extent of the issue. And now the pressure on Apple increases as the European Commission starts examining the safety of iPhones and iPods.
Apple has publicly ignored reports going back at least two years that there was some kind of problem with the devices. On the company's web site, the only mention of overheating in the iPhone, for example, is that the devices can get "warm" because the case acts as a heat sink. As Sean Kalinich of the blog BSN points out, given the number of units Apple has shipped, it can claim that problems are isolated even if 10,000 or possibly more consumers are affected. As Reuters reported:
But a spokesman for Apple Europe Ltd said: "We are aware of these (media) reports and we are waiting to receive the iPhones from the customers. Until we have the full details, we don't have anything further to add."Notice that the spokesperson didn't mention iPods exploding, which had been the subject of recent media coverage and, supposedly, an Apple attempt to settle with a family but only on condition of confidentiality.
Yesterday I said that it was time for Steve Jobs to step down as CEO. This only makes it clearer that Apple is following one of the most self-destructive paths that businesses can: trying to cover up problems and appear flawless. As the company continues to move past its traditional fan base, it will continue to find that consumers are far less forgiving than executives have found the faithful to be. And it will continue to become the subject of increasing amounts of regulatory interest that is simply not going to go away because Steve said so.
Image via stock.xchng user saavem, site standard license.