Stealthy Battery Update addresses swelling

Summary:Whenever Apple releases a software update you sometimes have read between the lines to get the whole story. Late Friday Apple quietly released the mysterious Battery Update 1.

Swollen MacBook Pro battery

Whenever Apple releases a software update you sometimes have read between the lines to get the whole story. Late Friday Apple quietly released the mysterious Battery Update 1.2 with the the brief explanation that it "updates battery firmware and improves battery functionality." 

Um, sure. 

According to the BBC there is more to the update than the Cupertino computer maker is letting on. Apple eventually divulged that "some batteries" in its range of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops have "performance issues."

Apple elaborates further on what, exactly, it meant by "performance issues" in a support note to users. Battery packs which are "visibly deformed" are among the symptoms of battery problems. Other symptoms of battery problems include:

  • The battery is not recognized
  • The battery will not charge and runs down quickly

Apple recommends that the update should be installed on all "MacBook and MacBook Pro computers and extra batteries that were purchased between February 2006 and April 2007." The company insists that "the factors causing the performance issues do not present a safety risk" and that "you may continue to use your current battery."

In May 2006 I wrote about a silent recall of some early MacBook Pro batteries. I first ran into MacBook Pro battery problems in June 2006 when my machine would spontaneously shut down when the battery got down below 33 percent capacity. In August 2006 it turned into a full-blown battery fiasco. Since then a parade of swollen MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries have cropped up on various blogs.

Is this another example of Apple’s obsessive secrecy, a potential legal exposure or I am being overly paranoid?

Topics: Apple, Hardware

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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