This is my [former] iPad. Those three playing-card-sized flat black thingies are the batteries. The one on the right? Toast.
Smokey, my I-can-do-anything guy and a former naval electronics technician, ordered a kit online to replace my iPad battery. Battery life had been degrading noticeably in the past couple months, and we thought it worthwhile to try a new battery before springing for a new iPad. He was prying the battery out of the shell -- they are glued in -- when it suddenly there were flying sparks, and the battery burst into flames.
Apparently, lithium-ion batteries are as much fuel as electricity.
Happily, he was not burned, nor did the house catch on fire. When I arrived home from running errands he had several windows open, a fan exhausting the smoke, and the batteries removed from all the smokey detectors.
Now to decide: buy a new iPad just like the old one, except the current model has the retina display? or wait until September when the new iPad Air is released, with a faster processor, iOS 8, and a $100 higher price tag? Younger Son's advice is to go to a store and handle both an iPad and the current iPad Air; then decide if the feel of the lighter one is worth the wait and the $100.
Any advice from the peanut gallery out there? All comments welcome.