Smoking, glowing iPhone 4 causes airplane scare

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Reports that an Australian regional airline had to extinguish a glowing red iPhone 4 that was emitting "dense smoke" on an airplane have sparked concerns over the handset's battery safety.



Regional Express (REX), the country's largest independent regional airline, said last Friday that a passenger's iPhone was emitting a "red glow" and smoke on a flight from Lismore to Sydney, PC Mag reports. A flight attendant extinguished the smoking smartphone and no one was injured during the incident.



Judging by the model number of the device, the handset in question is the GSM version of the iPhone 4. AppleInsider reached out to Apple for comment but has yet to hear back from the company.



The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority have both been notified of the matter. Though the mishap may prompt an investigation by officials, it does appear to be a relatively isolated occurrence.



Smoking iPhone from REX Flight ZL319, via REX.



The issue does, however, come on the heels of an Apple replacement program for the first-generation iPod nano due to potential battery overheating issues. After first rolling out replacement offers in select countries, Apple initiated the program worldwide earlier this month, noting that the problem is "very rare," though the likelihood of overheating does increase over time.



An iPod nano after a fire. | Image credits: The Consumerist.



In April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill exempting lithium batteries used in consumer electronics from proposed limitations that would classify the batteries as hazardous materials. According to an analysis commissioned by the Rechargeable Battery Association, the limitations would have cost electronics makers $1.13 billion alone in the first year.



One of the biggest consumer electronic battery scares in recent years occurred in 2006. Sony recalled 9.6 million lithium-ion batteries that year after microscopic metal particles were detected inside the batteries. The incident affected Apple, which had to recall 1.8 million iBook and PowerBook G4 batteries. Sony had also supplied the defective batteries to Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway and Toshiba.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Hopefully they'll get this 'issue' resolved with an iOS update... \
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Whaddya bet they stuck it in a microwave oven?
  • Reply 3 of 61
    Oh please please be the same problem as the nano!!!!!! ...only this time instead of just swapping them out, offer me a special trade-in price on a 4S!
  • Reply 4 of 61
    As has been pointed out by readers on other sites, if you look closely the Apple logo is the "Steve Apple" that's become quite famous (an Apple logo with Steve's profile as the bite mark). This looks like a custom back plate and could explain the problem.



    Some user modification seems more likely based on the evidence and this never happening before despite millions of iPhone 4's in circulation that have traveled the globe via airplanes.
  • Reply 5 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    As has been pointed out by readers on other sites, if you look closely the Apple logo is the "Steve Apple" that's become quite famous (an Apple logo with Steve's profile as the bite mark). This looks like a custom back plate and could explain the problem.



    Some user modification seems more likely based on the evidence and this never happening before despite millions of iPhone 4's in circulation that have traveled the globe via airplanes.



    Wrong shape at the top to be a Steve logo. It's just a fracture in the glass that makes the indent. Regardless, as you said, millions of 4s sold and this is the only incident of a glowing phone. I too think someone stuck it in the microwave.
  • Reply 6 of 61
    qo_qo_ Posts: 35member
    Maybe they were holding it wrong?
  • Reply 7 of 61
    1 occurrence out of millions of phones and they haven't even isolated if the phone had ever been dropped, tampered with etc.



    Lets wait until we get a battery recall for a batch of 1000+ serials because they might maybe have a battery with a microscopic hole in the battery housing that could perhaps increase and cause the chemicals in the battery to explode, before we start screaming that this is a major issue.





    oh and the safety board etc are notified if anything happens on a plane. someone could have a heart attack and they will be notified. a toilet stops up and they are notified. someone's seat ringer doesn't work and they are notified.
  • Reply 8 of 61
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    LALALALALA Kaboom. Man tried to blow up airliner with fake iPhone. Fake iPhone underwear bomber. Can you say knock off? I knew you could. Lol.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    Glowing red? An undercover droid!
  • Reply 10 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Reports that an Australian regional airline had to extinguish a glowing red iPhone 4 that was emitting "dense smoke" on an airplane have sparked concerns over the handset's battery safety.



    Regional Express (REX), the country's largest independent regional airline, said last Friday that a passenger's iPhone was emitting a "red glow" and smoke on a flight from Lismore to Sydney, PC Mag reports. A flight attendant extinguished the smoking smartphone and no one was injured during the incident.



    Judging by the model number of the device, the handset in question is the GSM version of the iPhone 4. As seen in the photo provided by the airline (below), the user appears to have modified the device, as the Apple logo on the handset has been replaced by a custom logo overlaid with the profile of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. If modifications, such as a custom backplate, were made to the iPhone 4, that could explain the malfunction.



    AppleInsider reached out to Apple for comment but has yet to hear back from the company.



    The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority have both been notified of the matter. Though the mishap may prompt an investigation by officials, it does appear to be a relatively isolated occurrence.



    Smoking iPhone from REX Flight ZL319, via REX.



    The issue does, however, come on the heels of an Apple replacement program for the first-generation iPod nano due to potential battery overheating issues. After first rolling out replacement offers in select countries, Apple initiated the program worldwide earlier this month, noting that the problem is "very rare," though the likelihood of overheating does increase over time.



    An iPod nano after a fire. | Image credits: The Consumerist.



    In April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill exempting lithium batteries used in consumer electronics from proposed limitations that would classify the batteries as hazardous materials. According to an analysis commissioned by the Rechargeable Battery Association, the limitations would have cost electronics makers $1.13 billion alone in the first year.



    One of the biggest consumer electronic battery scares in recent years occurred in 2006. Sony recalled 9.6 million lithium-ion batteries that year after microscopic metal particles were detected inside the batteries. The incident affected Apple, which had to recall 1.8 million iBook and PowerBook G4 batteries. Sony had also supplied the defective batteries to Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway and Toshiba.



    i cant believe what samsung would do to get apple products banned in oz
  • Reply 11 of 61
    It was probably a jailbroken iPhone with an El Qaida version of airplane mode.
  • Reply 12 of 61
    Clearly this phone was severely damaged prior to the incident. Anytime you have a lithium ion battery and you damage the device sufficiently you can cause a short circuit within the battery that cause it to over heat.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    When asked if the passenger had been tampering with the bathroom's smoke detector, he replied, "Uhhhh, no.... that smoke is uhhhh.... from my iPhone! My iPhone which just happens to smell like pot!"
  • Reply 14 of 61
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    How many iPhones are out there in the wild again?



    Even if this story turns out to be legit, then it's not really a big deal. Could be a faulty battery or something. Sometimes stuff happens, and what's the chance of something like that happening? Probably similar odds as winning the lotto.
  • Reply 15 of 61
    That looks like a special Steve Jobs memorial back plate that I've seen on replacement part websites. I was actually gonna get one of those, but if it's gonna make the phone do that then i'll wait. Maybe Apple uses a special type of glass for the phones that won't heat up...
  • Reply 16 of 61
    That's what happens when you illegally try to put Siri on an iPhone 4. She doesn't like it.
  • Reply 17 of 61
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by The Fancy Walrus View Post


    That looks like a special Steve Jobs memorial back plate that I've seen on replacement part websites.



    I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like that to me. I think that the cracks in the glass created an illusion that might fool a few people. It's hard to get a good look at the broken phone since the picture is small and it's at an angle. I don't even know how to use Photoshop, but look at the tiny leaf above the Apple on the broken phone. It looks like there is more space between the leaf and the Apple on the Steve Jobs logo.



    Look at Steve Job's chin. The broken phone does not have the same pronounced chin. Look at the top of Steve Job's head and the forehead. The broken phone does not have the same angle.



    Like I said, I could be wrong. I'm not a forensic crime investigator.









    And one more thing.



    If this is the backplate that you're talking about, then it's quite easy to see that there is some text beneath the logo which is not seen on the broken phone.



  • Reply 18 of 61
    zozmanzozman Posts: 391member
    nothings perfect, could be a faulty unit, the DOA rate on apple stuff is getting better n better considering they ship millions of units.
  • Reply 19 of 61
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Whaddya bet they stuck it in a microwave oven?



    I bet you have spent ages looking at the seat in front of you, desperate to heat the meal you brought with you and wondering why the door of the microwave is showing images as if it were a TV, but won't open.
  • Reply 20 of 61
    iPhone smoke - don't breathe this!
Sign In or Register to comment.