United Press International's Chris Barylick wrote an article about the recent MacBook Pro battery failures. In it he discusses the various issues that have plagued the Intel notebook's lithium power cells ("holding less than their normal charge, overheating and swelling to larger sizes"). Apparently individual cells in some of the early battery packs are susceptible to failure:
Individual cells on the batteries have also been reported as failing in some instances, the current technology employing three functioning power cells per battery. Failure within one of those cells can reduce the battery's potential functionality and lead to overall failure over time.
Chris interviewed me for the piece because I experienced a failure in the original battery that came with my week 7 MacBook Pro. My problem was that the battery would spontaneously shut down my MBP at around 33 percent capacity without warning -- causing data loss on a couple of occasions. Apple replaced my original battery and two previous batteries have been fine so far.
It's not unrealistic for first generation products like the MacBook and the MacBook Pro to have bugs in them, I just can't help but think that some of these issues would have been discovered if Apple tested new products on a larger group of people before releasing them to the masses.
Does Apple's obsessive secrecy help them or hurt them?