Apple Tries to Silence Owner of Exploding iPod

Recently, an iPod belonging to an 11-year-old Liverpudlian girl was dropped. The Times Online reports that the girl's father, Ken Stanborough, dropped the device, which then emitted a hissing noise. Stanborough picked up the device and, upon feeling the iPod getting hotter in his hand, threw it out into the back yard where within 30 seconds, the device "popped" and jumped 10 feet into the air in a puff of smoke.

When Stanborough's attempts to obtain a refund from his retailer failed, he contacted Apple who replied with a letter outlining what Apple claims is "standard practice." The Times Online reports that the Cupertino-based company sent a letter to Mr. Stanborough denying liability but offering a full refund.

However, the letter also said that in accepting the money, Mr. Stanborough was agreeing to "keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential." The letter went on to say that any breach of confidentiality "may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties."

Stanborough refused Apple's offer, but it does make you wonder how many customers out there accepted the offer of a refund in exchange for silence. Given the choice, what would you do? Take the money and run or reserve your right to talk about your exploding iPod? Let us know in the comments below!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • aracheb
    doesn't amaze me..

    apple and it fidel castro complex.

  • d_kuhn
    Those sort of gag orders are pretty standard... nobody like bad publicity.

    HOWEVER, in the case of a device that could cause injury if it malfunctions in this manner... I think Apple is looking for even more problems if a lawyer can prove they tried to hush up a problem and someone got injured as a result.

    Dangerous line to walk Apple.
  • I'd either take the money and buy a zune, or post about it happening and then buy a zune.

    But then, I bought a zune, and it doesn't explode...
  • vaderseven
    Why not talk about it THEN accept the terms.
  • ca87
    What did Mr. Stanborough do after refusing the money.............?
  • duckmanx88
    its dangerous to not let news sources know about this. could be a very rare defect that needs to be addressed. What if the father had kept it in his hand? Or if the girl was around and put the ipod to her ear to listen to the hissing noise.
  • Jazzmain
    Hilter and Apple have something in common. They both like white and think they're the best.
  • doc70
    good title... maybe they should give them another one, this time with better luck in finding it's
  • spanspace
    I'd like to see Tomshardware obtain the model and version of the ipod that blew up and try to duplicate the experience on video. Apple needs to be knocked off its high horse.
  • This is why I would not waste my money on apple products. They are worthless. I still cannot figure out the whole Ipod, Itouch craze. I mean my cell has a built in MP3 player and it has a 3.5mm port so I hook it up to my truck or computer speakers. As far as all these Apps, most seem quiet stupid. And if you want to play games, get a handheld like PSP. I think I am going to submit the Icrush app to the app store. It will be the coolest app ever. I will give people step by step instructions on how to crush there iphone. And as you crush it, it will make an aswesome breaking sound.