More problems are emerging within Apple's recently released Mac OS X 10.2.4 update - and Apple continues to avoid dealing with its customers concerns.

Extensive reports have looked at the bug within this update that severely impairs the performance of batteries in some iBooks and PowerBooks. Widespread user discussions have led most news sources to suggest afflicted customers should acquire new batteries for their Macs - and some of these models are out of warranty.

The 12-inch iBooks produced between May to November 2002 are chiefly affected. 14-inch iBooks are reportedly impervious to the bug. Reader reports suggest Apple UK is out of stock of replacement batteries. Batteries cost £99.01 from the UK Apple Store and are currently listed as available within 1-2 days.

Other common problems found in the update include: the date resetting to 1970; networking problems; sleep problems; DVD-player problems; dial-up modem problems; and more. A complete report is available from MacFixIt.

Apple's own Support forums continue to buzz with messages from affected customers, with some going back to February 17.

With this problem attracting global media attention, and given Apple's past record of watching discussions in its support forums, it is clear the company is aware of the problem.

Despite its customer's need for advice Apple sources have only been able to say: "Apple is looking into the problem."

The company sold 182,000 iBooks in its fourth quarter 2002 and 169,000 units in the preceeding quarter. It shifted an additional 186,000 units in the first quarter 2003. Some of these models are undoubtedly affected.

Industry watchers can only speculate as to the rationale behind Apple's reserve.