iPhone 4 allegedly combusts while charging overnight

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


In what appears to be the first reported case of its kind on U.S. shores, a Colorado woman alleges that her iPhone 4 caught fire while charging overnight and wants Apple to warn customers of the device's possible combustion issues.



The woman, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said she took her story to tech website Mashable in order to spread public awareness over the reported issue, claiming that Apple has been reticent to acknowledge the alleged incident.



The unnamed source claims that she awoke in the early morning during a recent trip to the east coast to find her year-old white iPhone 4 making "sizzling" and "popping" noises. After an unspecified amount of time there was “not quite an explosion, but an immense crackling,” and smoke plumed from the device creating "an awful, putrid smell, almost like you were ingesting plastic of some kind.”



Inspection of the provided pictures yields no clues as to which components were heated to the point of creating smoke, though it a bulging battery is clearly seen to have expanded enough to force apart the iPhone's casing.



According to the report, the iPhone was connected via an Apple-branded charger to a power outlet that was later inspected and found to be working normally.



The woman goes on to say that when she asked Apple to be upgraded to a replacement iPhone 4S, the company furnished her with another iPhone 4.





Pictures of the alleged iPhone 4 combustion. (Note that images are flipped horizontally) | Source: Mashable







“I would have liked to have seen them say they understand this might not be something that affects everyone,” the Colorado woman said. “But, because it happened here, [they should] put up a precautionary statement to make people aware that if their battery becomes too hot to be wary.”











The alleged incident is reportedly the first of its kind in the U.S., though there has been at least one similar instance in Australia involving the iPhone 4.



This is not the first time Apple has seen problems with overheating batteries as it extended a replacement program for its first-generation iPod nano in 2011 due to a defect that caused the device's battery to overheat. The Cupertino, Calif., company first acknowledged the problem in a 2008 press release that stemmed from an investigation by the Japanese government.



There have been no reports of severe overheating issues with the iPhone 4S or any other products in Apple's current lineup.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Why she goes on a media campaign insisting Apple making a public statement of wrong doing - rather than just getting a free replacement iPhone - is a mystery to me.
  • Reply 2 of 68
    "Warning, your iPhone may explode while charging. Please charge responsibly and unplug it when it's done."
  • Reply 3 of 68
    The current Apple disclaimer has this covered completely:



    WARNING: Shit happens. Get over it. Consequences will never be the same.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Combustiongate....
  • Reply 5 of 68
    wardcwardc Posts: 150member
    I think one of two things may likely be the cause of this situation:



    1. There was some sort of over-amp, or power surge, or uneven voltage at the charging site which caused too much electricity to be pumped into the device, resulting in battery failure. Also, possibly a faulty charger could have been the problem.



    2. More likely -- the device had been previously dropped or sustained internal damage to the battery in the device, causing leakage or damaged components which failed when the device received electrical charge, causing the battery to combust. If the device had been dropped and received internal damage prior to this incident, it could have likely caused a failure in the charging mechanism(s) and/or battery which would cause fire. Such damage could involve damage to the internal power inverter, damage to the battery compartment, or damage to the Lithium Ion cells. Even a drop from a height onto a carpeted surface could cause internal damage which could cause leakage or result in failure on charging, or fire.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    New Apple Product:



    The award winning iPhone now comes in three colors: Black, White, and Charcoal.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Wasn't there an example of an iPhone model 4 caught fire on a plane and had to be extinguished. Not a common problem I would say but it is a good idea to keep an iPhone charging on a non flammable surface.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Sometimes people accidentally damage their devices by dropping them and although they still work the damage can contribute later to total failure of one kind or another. Since the failure did not happen right away they tend to disconnect the two events. Often situations like this are preceded by warning signs sometimes days before such, as a smell or unusually hot to the touch, rapid battery drain etc. If you experience odd unexplained battery issues with your device you should think about taking it in to the Apple Store for a check up because there is a lot of power stored in that battery which under certain circumstances could even cause bodily injury. One good reason why Apple did not want to make a user swappable battery.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    At least it was charging before it blew up, not always a given (the charging not the blowing up) as with the new iPad.
  • Reply 10 of 68
    Is it possible that she might have had it plugged into a double-power iPad charger? Could that have done this, or would that have just charged it faster?
  • Reply 11 of 68
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,401member
    Millions upon millions of iPhone4 handsets have been sold all over the world, and ONE gets fried.

    PRODUCT RECALL!!!



    Jeez, a really slow day for AI.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    I can't see her face and body so I don't know how to feel about this. I'd sympathize with her plight if she was young and hot, or milf-like. But if she's unattractive and/or overweight then this means nothing to me.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    sticknicksticknick Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Wasn't there an example of an iPhone model 4 caught fire on a plane and had to be extinguished. Not a common problem I would say but it is a good idea to keep an iPhone charging on a non flammable surface.



    Right. Two phones out of tens of millions.



    Time to hit the panic switch and charge your iPhone 4 on a sheet of asbestos.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I'm calling bullsh*t. She's the only one ever to have this problem and then she wanted to be upgraded to a 4S.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post


    I can't see her face and body so I don't know how to feel about this. I'd sympathize with her plight if she was young and hot, or milf-like. But if she's unattractive and/or overweight then this means nothing to me.



    Good one! I think she is over 50 years old and has a very nice standard of living. I considered the details of the home and the physical appearance of ear lobes and fingers to make that evaluation.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    Sounds like she was using a third party charger/cable. Some are awful with overheating.
  • Reply 17 of 68
    First in the US, second in the world? I believe these are called isolated incidents. I might have a different opinion had she only asked for a simple, 1:1, replacement... but requesting the newer model and then turning to the media when she didn't get what she wanted??? Yeah... whatever
  • Reply 18 of 68
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sticknick View Post


    Right. Two phones out of tens of millions.



    Time to hit the panic switch and charge your iPhone 4 on a sheet of asbestos.



    I don't see anyone hitting the panic button.



    Do you understand the difference between news and mass hysteria ?
  • Reply 19 of 68
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


    The award winning iPhone now comes in three colors: Black, White, and Charcoal.



    Like!
  • Reply 20 of 68
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeeGee48 View Post


    Is it possible that she might have had it plugged into a double-power iPad charger? Could that have done this, or would that have just charged it faster?



    I regularly charge my IP4 with the 10W iPad charger. I don't believe that changes any of the voltage levels - it's just able to source more current if requested by the charging circuit.
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