iPod Nano Emits Sparks in Japan: Government

One of Apple’s popular iPod Nano media players gave off sparks while being recharged in Japan in January, Japan’s trade ministry said, prompting a safety investigation.

No one was hurt in the incident, and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is looking into the cause and checking whether there have been similar cases, an official from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday.

Apple officials in Japan were not immediately available for comment.

The incident, involving an earlier model sold in Japan, the MA099J/A, occurred on Jan. 8 in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo, the official said. Apple reported the matter to the ministry on March 7.

Apple sold about 420,000 units a year of that Nano model in Japan from September 2005, the ministry said.

Apple has enjoyed strong global demand for the iPod since its 2001 launch, taking over the Sony (NYSE: SNE) Walkman as the king of portable music players.

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