Apple Investigates iPhone that Allegedly Went Up in Flames
As smartphones continue to progress, the battery must keep pace. This means that the smartphone’s main source of energy, lithium-ion, must increase its capacity. But without proper engineering the material can become unstable. As seen in Samsung’s million phone recall, an unstable battery can lead to overheating and ultimately combustion. Like all smartphones Apple’s iPhones utilize lithium-ion batteries. Over the past few years there have been several reports alleging that some iPhone batteries can go up in flames as well. But so far Apple and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission haven’t issued a formal recall.
The most recent incident occurred earlier this year in Palm Harbor, Florida. Amanda Bentz told reporters that she plugged in her iPhone 6 Plus just before going to bed. Hours later she woke up to “fireworks” shooting out of her charging phone and her husband frantically using his shirt to stifle the flames. “If he wouldn’t have woken up right there,” she told reporters, “it would have caught the curtain on fire, and then the bed.”
Apple told authorities that they are investigating the incident. Although they have not commented on the reason for the alleged fire, the electronics maker has offered Bentz a free replacement, once she has sent them her damaged iPhone. Apple has provided many replacements in the past, but so far they have called each overheating incident a one off, which they claim is typically caused by user damage that can disrupt the integrity of the phone. According to authorities, if a phone is cracked or damaged the battery can become a hazard and should be brought in for repairs immediately.
iPhones Heating Up
At the end of 2016 it was Darin Hlavaty, a college student in New Jersey, who alleged his iPhone 6 Plus burst out into flames while he was sitting in class. Fellow students described smoke coming from his back pocket causing Hlavaty to throw the iPhone 6 on the ground and kick it away. Hlavaty told officials that the six-month old phone was not plugged in at the time of the combustion and the battery was completely dead.
“Right as class was starting, my phone started smoking in my pocket. It was a fire,” said Hlavaty. “I felt this crazy, hot burning in my leg.”
Reports of combusting iPhones can be found all over the Internet. From posts on Reddit showing an iPhone 7 that allegedly caught fire while in transit, to at least eight alleged incidents of iPhones spontaneously combusting in China as reported by Shanghai’s Consumer Council. But despite not finding it necessary to recall any of their phones over combusting batteries, Apple did announce an exchange program for some of their iPhone 6S batteries over “unexpected shut down issues.” Those iPhones were made from September 2015 to October 2015.
To see if you iPhone 6S battery is eligible for a replacement see: https://www.apple.com/support/iphone6s-unexpectedshutdown/