Samsung battery inflates on charge near sleeping owner, melts phone
A Samsung Galaxy S III suffered a potentially hazardous fault yesterday, according to a user of Reddit. Photos on the social news site appears to show a phone that started to smoke and an inflated battery, with damage ranging from melted and burned plastic on the smartphone itself, a small burn on the poster's finger, and a hole in their foam pillow mattress cover caused through the excessive heat.
South Korean suffers second-degree burns to thigh
A man in South Korea was injured on Saturday after his Samsung Galaxy Note exploded. The 55-year-old man apparently suffered second-degree burns to his right thigh, after the smartphone and spare battery he stored in his pants pocket suddenly ruptured and caused damage to his body and clothing.
Could come from increased number of Wi-Fi checks
MacNN and other tech outlets are seeing some user reports that the latest release of iOS, 6.0.2, is causing additional battery drain on at least some devices. Reports of issues first surfaced on Apple's own support forums, and so far seems to be limited to only some of those who were able to upgrade to v6.0.2. Apple's recent iOS and OS X updates have both suffered from scattered reports of battery drain compared to previous versions of the respective OS, though the company generally fixes them over time.
Research to boost power five times in five years
The US Department of Energy is making a push to improve the technology used in batteries. The newly-formed Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), originally the Batteries and Energies Storage Hub, hopes to develop batteries five times more powerful than at present, at a fifth of the cost, over the next five years.
Battery fits leaked frame
Corroborating recent reports, a fresh leak surrounding the iPhone 5 suggests Apple's sixth-generation smartphone will integrate a slightly larger battery than its predecessor. An alleged iPhone 5 battery obtained by electronics repair company iResQ appears to perfectly within the phone frame that is also claimed to be sourced from the official assembly lines.
Charging efficiencies in larger batteries increased hundredfold
South Korean scientists claim to have found a way to greatly reduce electric car charging times from hours to minutes. The researchers have altered the geometry and physics of a lithium-ion battery to allow the cell to charge evenly throughout the battery, rather than charging from the terminals inward during a standard reduction-oxidation reaction on larger lithium-ion batteries.
Modest voltage, wattage suggests LTE radio drain solved
One of the factors that kept an LTE "4G" radio out of the iPhone 4S was the compromise of the battery-draining next-generation cellular data transceiver. As many "4G" phone owners know, the advanced technology requires a lot of power, even when not in active use. Purported next-iPhone batteries seen in photos and sporting slightly higher specifications than existing iPhone batteries may, if accurate, suggest that Apple has overcome the LTE issue with a modest compromise.
Domestic shipments, UPS, Fedex unaffected
Effective May 16, the United States Postal Service (USPS) regulation prohibits shipping any electronic device with a lithium battery from being mailed to a destination outside the United States. The ban does not apply to private carriers such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS. The ban is in response to improperly packed lithium batteries being involved in two plane crashes since 2006, including a UPS jet in Dubai that caught fire and crashed moments after takeoff.
Models affected: 1 V1, D700, D800, D800E
A small batch of Nikon batteries for the 1 V1, D7000, D800, and D800E cameras are at risk of overheating and becoming distorted during the charging process, Nikon has announced. The company has announced a battery replacement program for the affected run of the EN-EL15 battery.
Testing shows bad indicator can cheat users
The bad battery indicator in the new third-generation iPad has been further tested by Dr. Ray Soneira, the president of DisplayMate and the leading scientist testing and explaining the technology behind the new iPad's doubled resolution and advanced "Retina Display" screen, as well as one of the first to uncover that the battery indicator falsely reads "100%" more than an hour before it is actually fully charged. He has since clarified some of his findings.
Testing points to bad calculation in algorithm
A leading researcher examining the third-generation iPad has discovered through testing and actual voltage readings that the latest iPad requires around two hours of additional charging beyond the point where the indicator reads "100%" in order to truly achieve maximum charge. Initial testing indicates that the problem lies only in the accuracy of the on-screen battery charge indicator rather than a hardware fault, but could lead to consumer confusion on performance.
Largest capacity Eneloop AA batteries
Sanyo has introduced its latest AA-size batteries that fit into the company's Eneloop lineup. The Nickel-Metal Hydride cells, labeled 'XX', are said to be the company's highest capacity Eneloops, with 2500 mAh of power. Like the rest of the series, the XX offerings ship charged and promise up to 75-percent remaining power after a year of storage.
Could pack 3x capacity in the same footprint
Sumitomo Electric has developed a technology to make aluminum porous that could significantly improve lithium-ion batteries. The new porous aluminum, called "Aluminum-Celmet," could give these batteries one and one-half to three times greater capacity. It could alternately help to reduce the size by up to two-thirds without shrinking battery life.
Slightly more capacity, significantly lower cost
Newer Technology has added a 52 watt-hour replacement battery specifically for the Late 2008 and Early 2009 15-inch MacBook Pros (the first of the "unibody" MPB designs, also known as MacBookPro5,1 and MacBookPro5,2). While the new batteries offer only a modest four percent increase in capacity over the Apple original batteries, they sell for 23 percent less money compared to replacement batteries from Apple for those models.
Stylish, lightweight protection doubles battery
British designers iKit have added the NuCharge battery case to their line of iPhone 4 accessories. The product acts as both a lightweight spare battery and a protective case, and is compatible with both the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4s. The black (also available in white) case is only six millimeters (0.24 inches) thick and adds only two ounces to the weight of the iPhone 4, but doubles the battery life by sporting a full 1400mAh battery.
System pairs all necessary features
Solar Components has finally begun shipping its latest solar charger, which was demonstrated this week at Macworld Expo. MacNN checked out the Joos Orange, a slab-shaped device that combines solar cells with an integrated battery. The general design reminded us of Solio's offerings, but with a bigger battery that is claimed to charge a dead iPad up to 65 percent.
PowerPak XT and PowerPak Duo
Technocel on Tuesday introduced two new products for its line of portable batteries and in-home chargers: the PowerPak XT and PowerPak Duo. Both devices are re-designed versions of the previously released PowerPak, and offer larger batteries. By using the interchangeable tips they are said to support roughly 95 percent of available handheld USB devices, along with any standard USB cable included with most wireless products. Each portable battery also features built-in LED indicator lights for displaying the amount of remaining power.
PowerPak charges most hand held devices
Technocel has announced the PowerPak, a new all-in-one portable battery and home charger. The PowerPak is designed to extend the run time of portable electronic devices when users are on-the-go and away from power outlets. It supports a wide range of devices including cellphones, PDA’s, MP3 players, or Bluetooth headsets. A variety of interchangeable tips are included, enabling the charger to work with almost any USB-powered product.
Incident matches reports from Apple online store
MacNN reader Robert-Anthony Bunoan has voiced frustration with Apple after the battery in his 17-inch MacBook Pro reportedly swelled to the point of rupturing the case. The notebook was approximately two years old, with a removable battery instead of the integrated lithium-polymer design featured in the latest aluminum-unibody models.
QuickerTek Air battery
QuickerTek has released its latest notebook accessory, a new external battery for the MacBook Air. The external pack powers the device while simultaneously charging the internal battery. The company claims users can achieve 12 to 16 total hours of run time, or around 6 to 10 extra hours of power. The charger is also said to charge the internal battery in only three hours.
myPower iPhone battery
Tekkon has debuted the myPower leather sleeve for the iPhone and iPhone 3G. The case features a built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that is claimed to double the battery life of the iPhone while ensuring that the external battery drains before the phone draws from its internal power. An integrated power-level indicator displays the charge status of the battery. Users can recharge both the case and iPhone simultaneously, using an outlet power adapter or a USB cable connected to a computer.
QuickerTek power extender
QuickerTek has released an external battery that connects to the iPhone 3G, iPod touch, or any iPod with the 30-pin dock connector. The additional power can be used for 30 hours of music playback, six hours of video, or three hours of talk time, the company claims. A retractable USB charging cable is included with the package. The cable simultaneously charges both the external battery and the iPod/iPhone internal battery. The product is similar to the Richard Solo backup battery, but offers the additional iPod connectivity.
Power Slider iPhone case
Incase has unveiled the Power Slider, a case for the iPhone 3G that also contains an extended battery. The case is designed to drain its own battery first, then leaves the user with a fully charged phone. The hard-shell construction protects the entire phone, while a soft-touch coating offers improved feel and grip. The 1330 mAh lithium-polymer battery is claimed to increase standby time by 330 hours, audio playback by 26 hours, and internet use by five to six hours. Talk time on the 3G network increases by five hours, while talk time on the 2G network is extended by ten hours.
iPhone Handy Battery Pack
USBfever has released its latest accessory for the iPhone 3G, the Handy Battery Pack. The pack fits around the back of the phone like a case, leaving the buttons, ports, and camera accessible. Two gaps are left near the bottom corners, allowing sound from the speakers to be heard while watching video or listening to music. The charging status is indicated by two LEDs on the front of the battery pack. Users can connect the phone, battery pack, and charging cable at the same time, but cannot sync while the device is attached to the phone.
QuickerTek MacBook battery
QuickerTek has unveiled its latest Mac laptop accessory, an external battery for 15-inch and 17-inch MacBooks that is claimed to extend the power life by 8-12 hours. The device uses a standard MagSafe connector which charges the notebook battery before taking power from the external source. The Li-ion polymer cells are enclosed in a housing that measures nine by six inches, with a thickness of one inch, and weighs approximately five pounds.
Juice pack iPhone battery
Mophie has introduced its latest accessory for the iPhone 3G, the Juice Pack 3G battery extender. The device features a lithium polymer battery that is claimed to offer an additional 350 hours of standby time, 6 hours of 3G talk time, 12 hours of 2G talk time, and 6-7 hours of internet use. Rather than drain the internal phone batteries before switching to alternative power, the pack drains the external supply first. The charge status is displayed with four integrated LEDs located on the back panel.
FastMac iV ships
FastMac has launched the FastMac iV, a charger and extended battery for the iPhone that also adds a built-in flash and can charge USB devices concurrently. The iV triples the iPhone's talk time to 24 hours, as well as 31 days of standby, over 20 hours of video or 70 hours of audio playback. The battery inside the iV is rated at 3100mAh and can power and charge the phone at the same time.
Kensington ships new gear
Kensington has announced "Works with iPhone" certification from Apple for its line of battery packs and chargers for the iPhone 3G. The line includes full-size and miniature battery packs, car chargers and September arrivals for an International Travel Charger and a Power and Sync Cable. The products work with the Apple iPhone 3G, 2G and iPod touch.
Zpower zinc-silver battery
Zpower, a provider of silver-zinc battery technology, announced the inclusion of their silver-zinc cells in a major notebook computer in 2009. Zpower claims their batteries have run-times up to 40 percent longer than comparable Lithium-ion cells, while simultaneously offering safety and environmental advantages. Zinc-silver batteries have almost been forgotten about but improvements in materials and manufacturing processes have brought them to compete in a market currently dominated by Li-ion cells.
Oncore six-bay charger
Oncore Power Systems is introducing a six-bay battery charger for iBooks and MacBooks targeted at the education market. The company is also selling a "power upgrade kit" consisting of the new charger and six replacement batteries. The company says the products are designed to "give new life" to older classroom computers. The unit has built-in safety circuitry and LED status lights for each bay.
Mophie Juice Pack 3G
Mophie on Monday unveiled the Juice Pack 3G, an updated version of its battery extender for the iPhone, offering new 3G owners similar enhancement to the device's run time. The Juice Pack 3G allows users to operate the iPhone 3G for an extra 350 hours on standby, while allowing for an additional six hours of talk time (12 on 2G) and internet, another eight hours for video playback, and 28 hours of audio. Mophie is offering the Juice Pack 3G for $100, and it will ship in September.
China-based OEM manufacturer Better-Power Electric has developed a unique combination speaker and charger for the iPod and iPhone using a 4800mA, 3.7V Lithium-Ion Battery. The company says the device can charge an iPhone in 50-80 minutes and also works with various iPods and other mobile devices via USB. The speaker can play music for more than 12 hours, and iPhone owners can reportedly use it as a speakerphone.
Battery charges iPhone 3g
Though the iPhone 3G offers faster connections over 3G networks, it sacrifices battery life to do so. The Smart Backup Battery can double battery capacity for owners of the new iPhone. The external aluminum-cased lithium-ion battery attaches to the data-port at the base of the iPhone to charge the iPhone's battery. It can be used to charge while the phone is in operation and will charge first the iPhone, then itself, in sequence when attached to AC power. The Smart Backup Battery also works with the original iPhone, iPod touch and all other data-port iPods. It costs $50, with discounts on volume purchases.
iPhone leads 3G batteries
While Apple CEO Steve Jobs' concerns about 3G's impact on the iPhone's battery life were valid, the iPhone 3G still maintains a longer-running battery life than other popular competing mobile devices, including the new Samsung Instinct. PC World investigated several 3G smartphone handsets, showing that the iPhone 3G bests the Instinct, the HTC Touch Dual, and the LG EnV with 5h 38m, the only three others which featured over five hours of talk time.
iPod touch accessories
Two companies today introduced accessories for extending the battery life for the iPod touch as well as providing extra protection for the mobile device: mStation's mophie Juice Packs extends the time between chargest by offering up to an additional 24 hours of audio playback or up to an additional seven hours of video playback. The battery comes in the form of a non-slip soft grip case that is easily attached and removed from the Touch.
Extended battery upgrade
QuickerTek has introduced an extended battery upgrade for Apple's MacBook Air, which it says offes six to ten hours of additional battery power -- for a total of 12-16 hours of battery life when used in conjunction with the (charged) internal battery. "Since the MacBook Air has a non-removeable battery, the typical user strategy of using multiple batteries is not possible. QuickerTek had already developed battery charging technology for MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, but those solutions did not charge AND power the computer at the same time. QuickerTek's MacBook Air External Battery powers and charges the internal battery while in use."
Mophie iPhone Juice Pack
Mophie on Wednesday announced it is shipping the Juice Pack – an iPhone battery extender – and that it is the first company to achieve certified "Works with iPhone" recognition for a battery extension product. The extender adds 250 hours of standby time, while also featuring eight hours talk time, 6 hours of internet usage, 7 hours of video playback, and 24 hours of iPod functionality. Mophie is currently shipping the Juice Pack for $100, and is available directly from Mophie, mStation, or select retailers.
Li-ion battery shortage
The lithium-ion battery shortage caused by a fire at South Korea's LG Chem plant back in March should be over in the third quarter of the year, an executive at a notebook battery maker said on Friday. While the shortage is hurting sales of all notebooks, including the ASUS Eee PC, smaller, lower-volume companies are hurt most, as they get least priority when supplies do become available.
Sony hybrid fuel cell
Sony showed off a tiny fuel cell at the Smart Fuel Cells 2008 exhibition that ends today, which combines a fuel cell, Li-polymer battery and control circuit for the first time. In testing conducted in Japan, Sony found a 1Seg video broadcast can play for 14 hours on 10mL of methanol. Use of a refined technology using the fuel cell could significantly boost the run times of today's consumer electronics, specifically laptop and cellphone batteries.
ASUS Eee PC batteries
Consumers who bought ASUS' Eee PC 900 in Hong Kong are accusing the company of misleading them. Review copies of the highly anticipated mini-laptop featured a higher-spec battery which is not yet available to the public and ASUS claims it shipped by mistake. The company is now giving a free battery upgrade to buyers who purchased the Eee PC 900 on its launch date.
Promate ProBattery backup
Promate on Monday unveiled a universal laptop back-up battery it calls the ProBattery as well as solar-powered Bluetooth car kit. The company, which makes electronics accessories that range from protective screen films for PDAs to external media drives, promises to keep laptops running for up to eight hours. To make it compatible with a wide variety of laptops, the 6600mAh Lithium Polymer battery uses a selectable 5V, 16V or 19V power output and 15 modular notebook connectors.
Energizer iPod battery
Energizer today unveiled a new iPod battery extender, as well as several new lighting products; it will be demonstrating them at CES 2008. The Energi To Go for iPod uses two AA batteries, and when used with the company’s e2 Lithium cells, produces over 40 hours of audio playback, or 11 hours of video. The unit unfolds, revealing a dock connector, allowing the iPod to sit in the lightweight battery pack. Energi To Go for iPod comes with two Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries, while pricing and availability has not been mentioned.
iPod speaker, earphones
USBFever.com has launched four new iPod accessories ranging from a tiny portable speaker earphones. The company's Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker serves as a tiny sound system that works with all iPod models. The speaker is small enough to hang on a keychain, and features built-in amplification via a Lithium-Ion battery that users recharge via USB. The Fingertip Mini Cube Speaker ($10) offers 0.8W power output, weighs 17 grams, and includes an on/off button.
The iPowerRush brings 10 to 15 hours of additional playtime to iPods and iPhones by using six AAA batteries, and provides an extra 120 hours of standby time for iPhone users. The unit features a slip design, measured at 2-inches by 3 5/8-inches by 0.5-inch, making it very compact, with a push-button that shows remaining battery power, and also features a built-in voltage limiter that prevents it from over-charging the iPod's battery. The iPowerRush is currently available for $30 from iPowerRush.com.