Last week we heard about an iPhone 4 cord that flared up, scorching the device and melting the cord. This week it’s an iPad; TechReport reader Forge says he woke up at 5 in the morning to the smell of burnt plastic. The USB connector was melting and the iPad was extremely hot, so much so that when he grabbed it to disconnect the cord, he immediately dropped it on the ground.
I noted last week that even with extremely high yields in relatively simple parts, when producing five or six million electronic devices, you’re guaranteed to get a few bad ones. Two USB burnouts in a row seems like a lot, but there are millions of devices out there not catching on fire. All the same, a high-capacity battery and high-voltage charger do have the potential to get very hot, so take reasonable precautions when setting your devices down to charge for the night.
Apple devices in particular tend to get super hot due to the slimness, density, and (in my opinion) inadequate ventilation, so keep that in mind. The more you know!
Update: in an interesting follow-up, it seems that the user took it in to the Apple store to have it replaced, fixed, or what have you, and they refused. The reason? He had jailbroken his iPad. I bet you’re expecting me to be like OMG FREEDOM WTF but no, this falls squarely under the personal liability you assume when you hack your device.
Update 2: One Mac flame-up caught on video, in case you’re wondering what something like this looks like in general. It’s not a fireball. Actually, that one looks like a short – those power adapters had weak points right at the end of the round bit.