iPhone and iPod users may experience a "small and quick" shock via their earbuds due to a buildup of static electricity, Apple warned Monday.
People listening to one of the devices in extremely dry air are most at risk of receiving a static electricity shock through the ear buds, according to a warning posted on Apple's Web site. The post likened the condition to the discharge that occurs when a person drags his or her feet across a carpet then gets a shock by touching a door knob.
However, Apple asserted that this condition did not necessarily indicate that Apple's equipment was malfunctioning.
"This condition is not limited to Apple hardware and static can potentially build up on almost any hardware and could be discharged using any brand of earbuds," Apple said.
Apple's warning didn't mention what prompted the company to issue the warning, but a discussion thread on the company's support site showed a few users had voiced concern about the condition.
"Maybe it's just me but for a couple of weeks now my earphones are delivering little electric shocks into my ears," wrote one reader. "I just wonder if anyone else is going through this issue."
Apple made several suggestions in the warning on how to remedy the condition when indoors, including the use of a humidifier to raise the moisture level of the air, hand lotions to moisturize dry skin, or an anti-static spray. The site also recommends users wear clothes made of natural fibers instead of synthetic fibers. When users are outdoors, Apple suggests users keep their device in a bag or a case to keep it out of the wind and refrain from frequently removing it from pockets as the rubbing may cause static buildup.