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Apple is investigating media reports of at least one iPhone exploding, a claim which does not stretch far from similarly reported iPod cases.

Media reports claiming that one or more iPhones have exploded in Europe have led Apple to investigate, according to Reuters.  

One such report includes the case of an 18-year-old iPhone user in France who claims to have heard a hissing noise coming from his girlfriend’s iPhone before it shattered. The teenager reportedly suffered minimal injuries from the incident, which resulted in his eye being struck by a piece of iPhone glass, as reported by Google.

Helen Kearns, European Commission Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, explained the following at a news briefing: "Apple has come back to us ... and what they've said to us is that they consider these are isolated incidents. They don't consider that there's a general problem."

"They're trying to get more information on the specific details of those incidents, and they will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause," Kearns added.

Although the current media reports share a small amount of explosion cases for the iPhone, numerous similar cases have been reported by users of the iPod. According to Google, in late July, Seattle-based television news station KIRO reported that an “alarming number” of iPods had “suddenly burst into flames and smoke, injuring people and damaging property."

KIRO reported on the existence of some 800 pages of iPod-specific documents that included details on 15 burn and fire-related incidents - none of which were serious - reportedly caused by iPods. The Consumer Product Safety Commission pointed out that this number of incident claims existed as low compared to the significantly large amount of the millions of iPods that have been sold.

KIRO eventually concluded that overheated lithium ion batteries appeared to be the main cause of these issues. After Apple implemented new battery technology, incident claims lessened.

As for the case of exploding iPhone claims, a spokesman for Apple Europe Ltd. explained that Apple is aware of the media reports: "We are waiting to receive the iPhones from the customers. Until we have the full details, we don't have anything further to add."




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Deviant behavior
By 3minence on 8/19/2009 9:21:14 AM , Rating: 5
If you make enough of something, you will have the occasional defective unit. The trick is to minimize as much as possible the number of defective units. The problem is not that Apple occasionally have defective units, the problem is how Apple deals with it. "We'll replace the unit only if you don't tell the media" is not the way to build trust. It only builds suspicion.

Problems occur. Apologize, fix what was broken, then move forward.




RE: Deviant behavior
By 3minence on 8/19/2009 9:22:05 AM , Rating: 5
Sorry for the double post. My kingdom for an edit button.


RE: Deviant behavior
By Digimonkey on 8/19/2009 9:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that Apple loses face when doing that. Admitting a device of theirs has issues throws out the whole argument of "You should buy apple because our stuff just works".

However I agree that the way they went about handling this at first just exacerbated the whole issue. You still can't shrug it off and say defective units happen sometimes because if they are truly melting down like the descriptions say, then this could cause personal injury or property damage. Which is a lot worse then just seeing flashing lights and having a dead device.


RE: Deviant behavior
By fownde on 8/19/2009 9:54:12 AM , Rating: 3
Wait... Apples products work too? I thought people only bought them because they were "cool"...


RE: Deviant behavior
By Oralen on 8/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Deviant behavior
By petschska on 8/19/2009 10:02:26 AM , Rating: 5
While I agree that with any product there will be some defective units, one of the most important things you can do is make your products that may fail, fail in a method that is safe. These incidents could be a direct result of Apple's removal of brominated flame retardants from their devices for their eco-friendly image. There's a lesson here that eco-friendly doesn't always result in the safest products.


RE: Deviant behavior
By Motoman on 8/19/2009 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
...this is what bothers me about it. For all the millions of iThings that Apple shifts, there are most certainly going to be defective ones, just because.

But...you don't see other brands of similar devices "exploding." Sure, other brands have their statistically-appropriate failure rates...but they don't actually blow up.


RE: Deviant behavior
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Deviant behavior
By Motoman on 8/19/2009 10:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
...you missed the part where I said "similar devices." We all know about the Dell, Sony, and other laptops blowing up. What we haven't seen is other cellphones/smartphones/mp3 players exploding.


RE: Deviant behavior
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Deviant behavior
By sigmatau on 8/19/2009 3:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
I can put explode + any-made-u-pword in Google and get a million hits. Who cares?

Since you still have missed the point let me clarify.

You don't hear of Blackberries, Nokia, Motorolas, Zunes, any-other-mp3, digital cameras, etc., etc. blowing up due to an occasional defect.

Only Apple has this feature.


RE: Deviant behavior
By Yawgm0th on 8/21/2009 2:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can put explode + any-made-u-pword in Google and get a million hits. Who cares?
Exploding Chupacabra only seems to get me 116,000 hits.

quote:
Only Apple has this feature.
Brilliant! Apple should write it off as a feature.

3G Connectivity
Multitouch Touchscreen
Safari Web Browser
Spontaneous Combustion


RE: Deviant behavior
By Sazar on 8/19/2009 11:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
Thing is, those battery issues were all traced back to Sony and Sony is the company that has borne the brunt of the losses from offering up replacements for all the major integrators.

Dell was the first company to setup the replacement plan, HP, Apple and others jumped on afterwards and all was good in the land of the un-exploded mobile notebook products.


RE: Deviant behavior
By ClownPuncher on 8/19/2009 11:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, making fertilizer out of "eploded" customers is about as "green" as you can get.


RE: Deviant behavior
By ralith on 8/19/2009 10:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree they will have "the occasional defective unit", but they should've designed the thing to fail gracefully during a catastophic hardware failure (bad cap, battery melt down etc). They should know the failure modes of the hardware they put in it, and check that their design doesn't conflict with them. It apparently does in some way or they would just have melted phones instead of exploding phones.


The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 9:19:10 AM , Rating: 2
... but in ourselves, for being sheep herded into the Apple flock.

I realize it's a tough thing for most of them, though.. to suddenly realize that their deity isn't perfect.




RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 11:58:49 AM , Rating: 5
Ignorance is bliss.


RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 12:38:37 PM , Rating: 4
Consumer ignorance is bliss as well.


RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 1:06:01 PM , Rating: 5
No, that's not what I meant. Consumers are highly gullible. Many will buy a product just because of the brand name (or avoid it just because of the brand name). Many are also ignorant about how to use the product. These are not things that any 3rd-party can address and are solely in the purview (and responsibility) of the consumer.

This ignorance is reflected in satisfaction and quality surveys, as well. Consumers hear from their peers about their experience with a product and it affects their perception of their experience if they also have that product and/or it alters their decision to buy or not buy the product.


RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 2:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Less diversity means more fanaticism. I have little doubt that the Mac purchasing minority fits the averages you mentioned, but no piece of paper from any educational institution or any level of vocabulary expansion or any amount of money in the bank immunizes or even reliably insulates someone from gullibility. Sophisticated and/or discerning tastes can be (and are) taken advantage of just as easily as any other.


By sigmatau on 8/19/2009 3:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. You should be in a quotes book, lol.


By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 7:26:39 PM , Rating: 1
Business Wireless Smartphone...... They don't even have a business smartphone so how they hell did they even get a ranking?


By eddieroolz on 8/19/2009 10:03:28 PM , Rating: 1
I see that we have a new Pirks on our hands.


RE: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars...
By Pirks on 8/20/2009 4:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
for one new Pirks there are a couple of dozen of new eddieroolzes here, it's DT man! AKA the Church of Wintel website ;)


By eddieroolz on 8/20/2009 2:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, you're still alive.

Welcome back.


Deviant behavior
By 3minence on 8/19/2009 9:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
If you make enough of something, you will have the occasional defective unit. The trick is to minimize as much as possible the number of defective units. The problem is not that Apple occasionally have defective units, the problem is how Apple deals with it. "We'll replace the unit only if you don't tell the media" is not the way to build trust. It only builds suspicion.

Problems occur. Apologize, fix what was broken, then move forward.




RE: Deviant behavior
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Deviant behavior
By frobizzle on 8/19/2009 11:05:46 AM , Rating: 3
Pirks?? Is that you??


RE: Deviant behavior
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Deviant behavior
By knutjb on 8/19/2009 5:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, so what, that's all on the normal operation of iPhone which is not in question.

Your missing the core problem, Apple is trying to hide and deny the problem refusing to take responsibility for their product. It would have been much easier if the battery were accessible but it's not. So Apple made a flaky financial decision that it would be cheaper to strong arm consumers into their one and only way to replace their defective phone came with a GAG ORDER. I can only judge Apples response to this situation as morally, and possibly, criminally irresponsible.

If Apple said hey we received a small number of defective batteries from a supplier and if you have S/N X to Y and have had felt it get hot take it to an Apple Store near you and we'll inspect it. Meanwhile they are walking around the store looking at Apples other offerings. That would have given them a huge customer relations boost likely offsetting the program cost.

Having a phone turn grenade in your hand cannot be good for customer relations or repeat business.



RE: Deviant behavior
By Pirks on 8/20/2009 5:19:47 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Who is Pirks?
Pirks is someone you turn into if you keep posting pro-Apple links/stories here. If you don't want to become Pirks just bash Apple regularly, always say Apple sucks, Apple iSheep, Apple Kool-Aid and stuff like that. Easy to grasp, eh?


This is...
By MrPoletski on 8/19/2009 9:06:50 AM , Rating: 5
The hand of God, reaching down to smite you for installing iTunes on your PC...




I don't want to point fingers...
By Boze on 8/19/2009 10:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
...but my T-Mobile Wing and my Motorola V300 never exploded, and I haven't heard about any exploding Wings or V300s in the past either.

Perhaps its an engineering or build quality issue with their supplier?




RE: I don't want to point fingers...
By Sazar on 8/19/2009 10:35:53 AM , Rating: 2
In a similar vein, I have yet to hear of a Blackberry exploding, although it seems likely that there have been some incidents.

For what it's worth, my iPhone does run warm on occasion but it has not blown up on me or had any heat warnings or anything like that, and we are going on close to 60 straights days of 100+ F weather here in Austin, Texas :(

Only 1 of my friends with a phone has even experienced the heat warning, and he had been out on a boat all day with the phone exposed to a fair bit of sunlight. No explosion however.

My sample size includes about 25 people with iPhones so it is definitely smaller than the millions who own the phone. However my sample size is for a city that has got to be one of the hottest places in the US, consistently, this year.


RE: I don't want to point fingers...
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: I don't want to point fingers...
By Hiryu on 8/19/2009 9:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
I came across a very similar one before, probably it was the same incidence. There was a follow-up on the story. The guy killed was not due to explosion of battery but actually was an accident that a steel bar crushed onto the guy and also broke his ribs.
The explosion of battery in mobile phone happens. From time to time I saw the news about the battery of mobile phone exploded. As far as I can remember, usually it involved 3rd party battery.



Gag Order
By aguilpa1 on 8/19/2009 1:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Last I heard, if your iphone exploded, and asked Apple to replace it. They made you sign a gag order under penalty of death (practically) or they would not replace your phone. It is just one of those little things where most people would likely just say FU Apple. So good luck to Apple on recieving those defective phones.




RE: Gag Order
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Gag Order
By sigmatau on 8/19/2009 3:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Really? How would you know its a common practice? That is so BS. I never got a letter from an attorney asking to shut up if they went ahead and replaced THEIR DEFECTIVE product. I think the more common practice is to freaking replace the dangerous crap they sold me and to apologize, not to get me to give up my free speach rights.

WOW! .


RE: Gag Order
By croc on 8/19/2009 6:32:56 PM , Rating: 1
I've had MB's blow up, and just a simple RMA took care of the issue. No NDA. PSU's, same thing. Screen failure in an XDA handset, same. Exploding battery in an HP laptop, new entire laptop... No NDA.

No wonder Apple has such great cusomer satisfaction surveys, anyone that dares to complain gets a lawsuit from one of the most litigious companies in the world!


RE: Gag Order
By eddieroolz on 8/19/2009 10:04:44 PM , Rating: 1
Didn't get one when I asked HP to replace my defective laptop, which had been sent in 5 times.

I was free to tell everyone about it.


This just in...
By tech4tac on 8/19/2009 1:31:32 PM , Rating: 4
In an unrelated story, Apple his decided not to pull the extremely popular Exploding Phone Grenade app even after mounting concerns from homeland security experts and a large spike of iPhone shipments to known terrorist locations.

In response, Apple's general console, Evets Sboj, released this statement: "The app in question only posses a threat in conjunction with jailbroken iPhones. Jailbreaking disables security features the iPhone uses to regulate the heat produced by the app which uses a feature engineered into the advanced batteries found exclusively in our products. We do not consider this a high security risk. The app was design solely for party pranks. For pranksters worldwide, there's an app for that."

In past press release, Apple has stated they will not be honoring the warranties of jailbreakers, terrorist, or terrorist jailbreakers. ;-o




iGarbage
By chick0n on 8/19/2009 9:06:21 AM , Rating: 1
This is what you get for having an iGarbage. :)




RE: iGarbage
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: iGarbage
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 7:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
Satisfied consumers does not equal a superior product. And considering some of the phones Japan has I know Apple's iPhone isn't in the same league. Most consumers are quite gullible as someone else has pointed out.


how...
By Samus on 8/19/2009 9:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
do they not discover the potential possibility something can explode during testing?

seriously. lithium ion batteries in laptops are one thing, because the battery has to break down over quite some time. but for new, off the shelf ipods to be exploding within weeks of purchase is just messed up.




By on 8/22/2009 11:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
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christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
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Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
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quote:
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Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 10:36:21 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
teenagers anxious to bury their heads inside Microsoft PCs rather than face the competitive real world.


Non-sequitur. What does that have to do with the iPhone?


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By Sazar on 8/19/2009 11:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
iPhone, iMac, iBook, iRack, iRan, they all have an i in them.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By VashHT on 8/19/2009 11:14:11 AM , Rating: 4
So how much is Apple paying you to protect their good name on the internet? Seriously even if they do have amazing customer satisfaction that isn't going to stop phones from exploding.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 12:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
You should note that I was initially responding to the section of your post that I quoted.

Posting the same links you have used all over this thread already is, again, a non-sequitur .


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sigmatau on 8/19/2009 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to it. Posting the same thing over and over does not tend to work as planned. No one wants to hear that iBS and that's why it is modded down. But little minds cannot cope with this so they must continue to post it over and over as though they will win some stickers on their grade school homework.

All these fanatics are doing is making MS look better. LMAO!


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 12:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
In other words, your reply.. with the same links you used elsewhere in the thread.. is of no relevance to my reply.

Why you'd post something irrelevant to what came before it, I don't know. It does have the smell, though, of someone being paid to do so.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By zsdersw on 8/19/2009 12:48:36 PM , Rating: 3
I quoted your comment about "Microsoft PCs", not about phones. Your subsequent comment to my comment, therefore, was not relevant.. and was, as I correctly pointed out, a non-sequitur. Its proper place is in a separate comment, not a reply to my comment. Now, you didn't really need that explained to you, did you?


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By sebmel on 8/19/2009 1:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
zsdersw, I have done you an injustice. My sincere apologies.

I'm afraid I did need it spelled out again! The comment 'Microsoft PCs' was not actually about PCs so much as about the moderating down and suppression of perfectly reasonable replies on this site.

It's relevant in that its about the forum on which the article resides. Yes, you are right, it is a non-sequitur.

Why was it included? To suggest to those moderating down reasonable comments, such as the one I was posting, that they might desist. Thus, it had to reside within the post which it was suggesting ought to be respected.

Your post was entirely reasonable and, in my haste assuming more of the same negativity (which anyone who posts an opinion on this site which deviates from general adulation of Microsoft will be familiar with) I underestimated and misread your response.

I eat humble pie and apologise.


By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 7:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Asking consumers their opinions about a product mean very little to a majority of the people on this site, or at least it seems that way. Most consumers don't know enough to make accurate or honest opinions. This is the reason why we have professional reviews or most major products. The fact that Apple consumers have good experiences means little when you are comparing facts and features.

I can say that this may be due to Apple products being "easier to use." I say it like that because it really depends on what you are trying to do. For basic things I'd say it's a bit simpler, though not by much if you actually know what you're doing. But for more complex things you are sacrificing some easy of use for a lot of functionality in many cases.

I believe that most people here would rather have functionality over a slightly easier to use product. And as such they want a more complete and/or better product which just isn't going to be Apple.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By deegee on 8/19/2009 8:53:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Just curious about the ostrich mentality here. Ostriches bury their heads to keep cool.


Ostriches don't bury their heads.
How do you expect people to even believe you have one ounce of credibility when you are posting nonsensical myths.

How many hundred of links would you like me to give you that your comment is nonsense...

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/11/02/...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrich
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/Animals...
http://www.wolaver.org/animals/ostrich.htm
...


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By Ryanman on 8/19/2009 6:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
the real issue here sebmel is how freaking annoying it gets having you post the same links dozens of times in one page.
Stop.

It's not an ostrich mentality. It's that many dailytech readers know about computer parts (and their prices). It's that there's a false sense of superiority from these idiotic customer surveys. We're tired of hearing you and pirks spout the same things we've heard over and over again about Apple in general when this article's just about some faulty battery explosions. Give it a rest.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By croc on 8/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
Please don't lump all Americans together just because of this Pirks wannabe. I value function far more than fashion. At least someone else here realized that Japanese people wouldn't buy this POS phone. I don't think that guy has even seen a phone that Japanese people use.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By croc on 8/20/2009 12:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
My apologies for 'hasty generalization'. But in my defense, I will note that the iphone seems to have a far greater take-up in the US than any EU country, or any ASEAN or Oceania country.


RE: Apple tops Rescuecom survey
By eddieroolz on 8/20/2009 2:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
I have a SH906i on Rogers here and all my friends are blown away by its specs and what it can possibly do on the DoCoMo home network.

Needless to say I'm not buying an North American phone again :D


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer











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