A surf instructor from Sydney, Australia, said his newly-purchased iPhone 7 went ablaze in his car while he was taking a surf lesson. The car’s center console was severely damaged in the incident.
The phone owner, Mat Jones, said he left the device under a pile of clothes inside his vehicle. But when he returned he saw the vehicle filled with smoke and ash coming from his pants while the iPhone was melting inside.
Jones said he bought the iPhone a week ago for more than $1,000. He said he did not damage it or used a damaged or improper charger. But he believes that leaving the device wrapped in his clothes might have caused the accident.
When he returned from the beach he saw smoke coming from his car, but he couldn’t grasp what happened as the windows were black. When he looked inside he saw the interior of his car was charred, while his pants were literally on fire.
He grabbed the pants and threw them out of the car while the smoke was still billowing from the vehicle. Jones recalled that when he first approached the car a heatwave came out. Also, he could see ash coming from inside the trousers and the device “melting inside.” He managed to detach the burning handset from the cloth and filmed what was left of it.
In the video, one can hear the surfer calling the phone a “total burnout.” Apple said it learned about the incident and started an investigation.
In recent years, there were several instances when older smartphones caught fire. Experts have often put the blame on overheated lithium-ion batteries. But it is surprising that a new device caught fire. In Jones’ case, probably it wasn’t such a good idea to leave the phone under a pile of clothes during a hot day. This could have easily caused the phone to overheat especially if it had been switched on.
Other Similar Incidents
In China, another iPhone 7 caught fire, but this time while the user was recording a video. Reportedly, the resulting pieces of glass from the blast scarred the man’s face. The company has not confirmed the report. This month, an iPhone 6 Plus exploded causing a small fire in a Fresno, California home. Firefighters arrived at the scene, after the phone owner’s husband contained the fire in a sink.
Nevertheless, Apple is not the only smartphone maker whose devices mysteriously burst into flames. Last month, Samsung had to recall its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone after several reports of exploding devices. But in Samsung’s case, the property damage was much more severe. Even though hundreds of users reported critical battery failures, one Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owner from Florida made the headlines.
The Florida man said he unloaded some purchases from his car, but when he returned he saw his Jeep Grand Cherokee on fire. The man had left his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 inside the vehicle on the charger, but it blew up instead.
“Not the barbecue I wanted on my day off.”
he wrote on Facebook.
Reports such as this prompted the South Korean-tech giant to order a worldwide recall. If Apple follows in Samsung’s footsteps, a similar move could cost it $19 billion.
Image Source: Flickr