Apple’s Notebook Battery Recall


Many of you have probably already seen that Apple announced a battery recall for some of its notebook batteries. I wanted to take a moment to commend Apple for taking this action to protect customers.

Our recall is proceeding well, based on the positive feedback we’re receiving from our customers worldwide. In the midst of all the media attention on this topic, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the facts. Our recall represents just over 15% of the 24.9 million batteries we shipped over a more than two-year period. If you consider that notebooks purchased before April 2004 are still clearly in use, then the fraction of our customers impacted by this recall gets even smaller. There were six confirmed incidents in the U.S. that helped us determine the root causes and scope of the recall. The small number of incidents reflects the reality that lithium-ion battery technology is safe and reliable; where we saw even the slightest risk to our customers, we took this proactive action to ensure their confidence in our products.

The Dell team remains focused on getting updated batteries into the hands of affected customers as quickly as we can. The first replacements shipped within the first full day of our recall and the shipments continue to ramp up dramatically. Thank you for your support and patience as we work through this challenge. I hope we’ve earned your trust.

You can expect further battery-related posts from Lionel and others on the Direct2Dell team. Keep the feedback coming.

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16 thoughts on “Apple’s Notebook Battery Recall

  1. I applaud Dell for being the first to step up and take care of thier customers. Now, just keep it up.

  2. I may sound dumb, but I have read both CPSC announcements.  Apple states incidents of overheating and Dell states incidents of actual fires.  So my question is, when are you required to report to the CPSC?  Additionally, I read the piece in the NYTimes where you did not address the number of systems returned for melting and overheating.  Does each manufacturer have its own reporting standards?

  3. Ok, now tell me how these two moves are the same.

    Apple is not recalling out of many of their laptops bursting into flame, burning down even households. Apple is recalling *just in case* BEFORE trouble shows up.

    Dell moved after many reports of actual fire.

    As we say here, on a first look both patients suffer from broken bones.

    In detail Dell has exposed fractures all over the body and an exploded spine.

    Apple has a broken pinkie.

    Yeah, technically they both suffer bone injuries.

  4. I am not sure what there is to applaud since they ( Dell and Sony)  appear to have been aware of this issue for some time now. It was a forced hand, not by choice.

    Thank you.

  5. Many of you have probably already seen that Dell no longer sells the Dell DJ Ditty. I wanted to take a moment to commend Dell for taking this action to protect customers. I also hope that Michael Dell will soon close up shop and give the shareholders their money back (while there is still something to give back).

  6. Please.  Dell knew aout these batteries for over a year.  Yetit wasn’t untill the numerous explosions and fires that Dell decided a recall was necessary.

    More Pure Junk from Dell.

  7. The headline is a bit misleading. You make two statements about Apple’s recall, and spend a further two paragraphs talking about how well the Dell recall is going…. I find this apalling. As a buyer for a larger California Medical Insurance company, we are deeply affected by the recall and for us, it is not proceeding smoothly. Just my $ 0.02

  8. Apple and Dell are only replacing the batteries. What about the other problems that might have happened due to the hot battery. We all know that computer components, especially hard-disks are damaged by heat. Will the companies pay for the damage that might have already been caused by these hot batteries? They are only trying to play safe by changing the batteries to avoid lawsuits.

  9. Dell once again stepping up to the plate.  Thanks Dell for keeping the customer in mind.  You continue to get better and better at what you do.

  10. Seahawk….the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall for the Apple batteries states "Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns from handling overheated computers and other reports of minor property damage. No serious injuries were reported."

    Photo’s of burnt powerbooks have been floating around the net for several weeks. Same batteries, same problems.

    So trouble has already shown up….Apple’s being reactive, not proactive.

    Dell’s no doubt sold more notebooks than Apple, so it makes sense statistically that you’ll hear more about problems with the batteries in the Dell’s.

    Also of interest is this article on

    "But the newest recall is much more far-reaching. The Dell recall affects less than 20 percent of the Dell laptops sold at the time, whereas the Apple recall affects more than 30 percent of the total number of laptops Apple sold in the period affected by the recall, according to IDC analyst Richard Shim."

  11. It is very important to note Apple’s recall, even on Dell’s blog.  This is not an Apple or Dell or HP or even a Sony issue, it is a computer industry issue.  Everyone uses Li-ion batteries and everyone has exposure to this issue, if not now, then possibly in the future.  Manufacturing defects happen, the key is to understand the risks and manage them.

  12. I see that Dell have stated that the batteries will go out first come first to get a battery. Great what about us mugs who have been waiting over 2 weeks for their new battery, do Dell intend to compensate or fully refund if a customer wishes to return the laptop. After all you now have a product that you can not use. Some of us have had to go out and buy a replacement to use for work. A customer may have lost all faith in their laptop and are not willing to take the risk of something happening to their new battery. Would you leave you battery charging over night whilst your kids slept upstairs.  Can your insurance company can refuse to pay out because of the battery issue? There are a lot of questions that Dell need to answer and it is very easy to shift the blame.

  13. I think many of you bashing Dell so badly are forgetting one thing,  yes there were reports of fires, but how can you justify a battery recall that could cost a company billions of dollars for an incident that COULD VERY WELL be an isolated event? Or even user-error?  You also forget how many people out there that think they know a thing or two about computers but end up causing a situation even worse.  You also forget that these are not LAPTOPS t hey are NOTEBOOKS.  A laptop sits on your lap.  Put a computer on your lap where the fan vents out from the bottom and your system will over heat because your leg is blocking the port.  Dell recalled after very thorough research and if they did not research it they would have continued on as normal, after the research sony and apply then discovered the problem, and then did the recall, you also forget that the main manufacture of the batteries was sony and it is their poor manufacturing technique that caused the problem in the first place.

  14. whether they did it proactively or not…i really cant say. But the real point is that they had the courage to take the lead on this and annouce the recall in the face of all this criticism which scores with me. Apple or the rest of them ( panasonic and toshiba, last one to annouce this) took their own sweet time waiting for someone else to bite the bullet. I cant seem to believe that only Dell had access to info that suggested that these batteries were a potential hazard..lets get real. Apple & toshiba are not gullible…they only diff is that they decided to keep their mouth shut for longer and agreed to recall only after the US consumer satefy council dug deeper to find dirt on all of them…Lenovo had one of their thinkpads catchin fire, not sure how far they are from owning up.

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