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Samsung investigating 'exploding' Galaxy S III in Ireland

post #1 of 40
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Samsung has begun investigating an incident where its newly released Galaxy S III smartphone reportedly exploded when charging in a user's car in Ireland.

"Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question," the company said on its official blog. "Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are seriously committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking into this seriously."

Details and pictures of the incident were first publicized this week by Engadget. The owner of Samsung's new handset originally posted their story and pictures in an online forum in Ireland.

"Driving along today with my Galaxy S3 in my car mount when suddenly a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone," user "dillo2k10" wrote. "I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone. The phone kept working but without any signal."

They went on to say that there was "no confirmation" that the incident was the fault of the Galaxy S III itself. They admitted the issue could have been caused by their car mount or the car's heating system.

Galaxy


The Galaxy S III is Samsung's new flagship Android-based smartphone. It launched in Europe on May 29, and debuted on all four major carriers in the U.S. this week.

Expectations for the Galaxy S III are high as its predecessor, the Galaxy S II, reached 20 million sales worldwide in 10 months. The latest Galaxy S phone has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, a 1.4-gigahertz processor, one gigabyte of RAM, and available capacities of 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes.
post #2 of 40
Remember the story about the iPhone "exploding" on an Airline flight and the tech media was in an Apple skewering lather until they found it was due to an unauthorized third-party replacement of the the iPhone’s screen. So what's the problem with this fresh out of the box Galaxy III and why aren't the tech pundits skewering Samsung?
post #3 of 40

With the mention that the car's phone mount and/or heating system may have been at fault I suspect he may have been using a vent mount and overheated the phone with warm air. Certainly a possibility.

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post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

With the mention that the car's phone mount and/or heating system may have been at fault I suspect he may have been using a vent mount and overheated the phone with warm air. Certainly a possibility.

Or perhaps it suffered a melt down from the radiant solar heat - no phone can withstand the blazing hot deserts of Ireland.
post #5 of 40

Considering all the damage is done right next to the charger, and not the battery, I'd bet there's a strong possibility some $.50 car charger is more to blame than the phone, but still unacceptable. However being a fireman myself, I've been to more electrical fires and flareups in homes in the last year or two year in my area than I've seen reported from the millions of chargeable devices roaming the planet in the last 5, so these are still quite rare occurrences. Unless you remember those Dell Latitudes...lol.gif

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post #6 of 40

 

On the original forum thread he mentions in a subsequent post, no7, that:

 

"The mount did not have a charger, and no charger was connected. It just holds the phone."

 

So it's not the fault of a cheap charger at least.

 

Also, the weather here hasn't been great this week but I can't imagine having a car heater on at all, much less turned up full blast. But it could have caught too much of the occasional sun.


Edited by Banalltv - 6/22/12 at 6:22am
post #7 of 40

Woop! Double post.


Edited by Banalltv - 6/22/12 at 6:19am
post #8 of 40

To be fair Samsung was expecting explosive sales results for this handset. lol.gif

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post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

...no phone can withstand the blazing hot deserts of Ireland.

 

Yeah, it's weird that he has a car. Most people here use camels. Maybe he was using a camel phone mount by mistake. Common error.

post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

 

On the original forum thread he mentions in a subsequent post, no7, that:

 

"The mount did not have a charger, and no charger was connected. It just holds the phone."

 

So it's not the fault of a cheap charger at least.

 

Also, the weather here hasn't been great this week but I can't imagine having a car heater on at all, much less turned up full blast.

 

To be realisitc, just because 'some guy on the internet' poster says he wasn't doesn't mean he's being honest, but still a fair point. The update to the original:

 

Quote:
After receiving no help from the Carphone Warehouse. Samsung contacted me, the head of customer services came out to see me and gave me a replacement phone. Even said he would send me out some free stuff.

There is no confirmation that it was a fault with the phone. It may actually have been caused by a combination of my car mount and my cars heating system.
 

Well I guess that was nice of them.


Edited by thataveragejoe - 6/22/12 at 6:24am
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post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

To be fair Samsung was expecting explosive sales results for this handset. lol.gif

 

But the explosion was "smooth."

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Remember the story about the iPhone "exploding" on an Airline flight and the tech media was in an Apple skewering lather until they found it was due to an unauthorized third-party replacement of the the iPhone’s screen. So what's the problem with this fresh out of the box Galaxy III and why aren't the tech pundits skewering Samsung?

Only Apple gets skewered for exploding phones. Everybody else gets a pass. This is already a non story on sites like C|net. It's just the way the universe works.

post #13 of 40
Perhaps this was the cause?

450
post #14 of 40

Given the weather here this week, I can imagine him having the heater on, maybe not full blast, I can also see how he might have got it wet.
 

post #15 of 40

well, they do run hot....

post #16 of 40

I've had iPhones exposed to some pretty high temps using it as a GPS with a windshield mount while plugged in. It's even sat in my car with the windows up during a very hot summer day. While using GPS, the screen will dim very dark until it cools off. When trying to use it after it baked in a hot car, it just displayed a warning that the phone is too hot and needs to cool.

 

Oh... this was my iPhone 4... almost 2 years ago...

 

If this was truly a case of too much heat in the environment, Samsung needs to figure out how to make the phone protect itself, like the iPhone has BEEN capable of. Another thing Android does that iPhone doesn't, I guess... 

post #17 of 40

The suggestion that the phone exploded because of the heater in the car working too hard, i.e. blowing nice comfortable air out at, say, 75'F (23'C) is laughable. If the car's heater was THAT volcanic the driver of the car would have exploded long before the phone, not to mention the heater matrix within the dash...

 

Samsung are clearly wriggling more than an eel on steroids, and probably desperate not to find a manufacturing shortcoming that prompts a huge recall. I'd laugh long and hard if that happened. 

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CogitoDexter View Post

The suggestion that the phone exploded because of the heater in the car working too hard, i.e. blowing nice comfortable air out at, say, 75'F (23'C) is laughable. If the car's heater was THAT volcanic the driver of the car would have exploded long before the phone, not to mention the heater matrix within the dash...

Samsung are clearly wriggling more than an eel on steroids, and probably desperate not to find a manufacturing shortcoming that prompts a huge recall. I'd laugh long and hard if that happened. 

That is an invalid, sensationalistic, claim. One phone failed. Out of potentially millions sold. First, we don't know if the guy did something to it to cause it to fail (like the failed screen replacement that cause the similar iPhone problem). Second, even if he didn't do anything to it, a single failure is not cause for a recall.
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post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Samsung has begun investigating an incident where its newly released Galaxy S III smartphone reportedly exploded when charging in a user's car in Ireland.
The Galaxy S III is Samsung's new flagship Android-based smartphone. It launched in Europe on May 29, and debuted on all four major carriers in the U.S. this week.
Expectations for the Galaxy S III are high as its predecessor, the Galaxy S II, reached 20 million sales worldwide in 10 months. The latest Galaxy S phone has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, a 1.4-gigahertz processor, one gigabyte of RAM, and available capacities of 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes.

 

A dozen replies and no one posted "Another thing they copied from the iPhone"

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Remember the story about the iPhone "exploding" on an Airline flight and the tech media was in an Apple skewering lather until they found it was due to an unauthorized third-party replacement of the the iPhone’s screen. So what's the problem with this fresh out of the box Galaxy III and why aren't the tech pundits skewering Samsung?
 
 
Actually it was a battery that was apparently replaced. Which is how a screw got under it to puncture the battery when it was pressed in. They found the screw and the puncture site when they x-rayed the phone

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post #20 of 40
The point is batteries sometimes do that and it doesn’t matter Apple or not. Non story.

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post #21 of 40

Bloody IRA.

post #22 of 40

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 2:53pm
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

 

In an alternate universe, perhaps.

 

In his one, searching for "Samsung exploding phone" yields 634,000 hits:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Samsung+exploding+phone


and "exploding iphone" has 1.6 MM hits.

post #24 of 40

"Flames shooting out..."

In defense of Samsung, I had a similar result with some Texas chili.

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post #25 of 40

SAMBOOM

post #26 of 40

One incident doth not news make. A string of them ... well, that's a different story.

 

Back in the days when people smoked more, paper books of matches would frequently self-ignite in people's pockets on account of friction or whatever other reason. At the time you never saw any newspaper stories.

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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post


Or perhaps it suffered a melt down from the radiant solar heat - no phone can withstand the blazing hot deserts of Ireland.


May be he was in Fireland?

post #28 of 40

'Exploding'? Looks more like a slow fizzling fire to me. When I think explosion, I think BANG! POW! KABOOM!... Not fssssst with some smoke. 'Explode' seems like a harsh word as does 'Burst into flames'. Sensationalism at its best.

post #29 of 40

Oh... Forgot to mention. LiPo technology currently risks going into thermal runaway somewhere over 115* F. This isn't Samsung's fault, blame battery science. I'm guessing 125*F plus which can easily happen on a dashboard of a car could produce these results with just about any LiPo powered device.

post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmit View Post

'Exploding'? Looks more like a slow fizzling fire to me. When I think explosion, I think BANG! POW! KABOOM!... Not fssssst with some smoke. 'Explode' seems like a harsh word as does 'Burst into flames'. Sensationalism at its best.

Yeah, i agree - I think it was a case of self-immolation
post #31 of 40

I hope that "Ireland" (who is an AI member) is alright. 

 

lol.gif

post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

Bloody IRA.

Speaking of being politically incorrect, I was just thinking if this were an English blog the thread would have been full of Irish jokes. They just don't seem to have them in the USA,
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post #33 of 40
I got my iPhone 4 super hot on a 100 degree summer day here in the west, and the phone came up with a warning and said it was too hot and shut down, I dont see why the galaxy SIII can't do the same. I would hope that samsung would be smart enough to protect its customers buy hey who knows. I know that apple does for sure because of the above example.
post #34 of 40
This isn't a flaw, just a new previously unannounced feature - "cigarette lighter." It'll get better once it gets out of beta. You can get this on your iPhone but you have to jailbreak it. I'm waiting for the next Galaxy S model, when the feature set will be completed by the addition of "bottle opener" and "lotto scratch-off.". When it comes to hardware design, who says Samsung doesn't innovate!

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post #35 of 40
Someone else posted this months if not years ago:

"and if you use Microsoft search on your Samsung phone:

Bada bing,
Bada boom!"
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post #36 of 40

It happens occasionally, whether to iPhones, Android phones or any other type of phone... lithium-based batteries always have risks.

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

It happens occasionally, whether to iPhones, Android phones or any other type of phone... lithium-based batteries always have risks.

Of course you wouldn't be saying that if it was an iPhone exploding.

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post #38 of 40

That pictures looks like the phone is jammed halfway up someone's hiney....

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Of course you wouldn't be saying that if it was an iPhone exploding.

 

Of course I would. There was one a while back about an iPhone exploding on a plane; of course, it was just the media making a mountain out of a molehill, much like this 'story'. Tens of millions of iPhones get sold, one of them explodes and the media wants to string Apple up.

 

You seem to have mischaracterised me as an Android obsessive, when actually I just hate hyberbole, false accusations and meaningless 'news' stories on both sides.

 

It's not me who has the bias.

post #40 of 40
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