Since the iPhone launched, there have been lots of stories floating around about faulty hardware causing fires or even killing users. Though most of them have passed into the annals of urban legend, this one might actually have some legs.
Dateline — France, about a week ago. A report about a security guard surfaces involving a phone exploding with such force, it sent a glass shard into the poor guy’s eye. (Luckily, it wasn’t big or serious enough to send him to the ER, but still — eeshk.)
Add this to other accounts in Europe of hardware meltdowns — which were likely due to overheating — and you’ve got enough cause for an investigation. (There was a Belgian teen who claims his phone imploded and another woman who says her phone suddenly cracked, while another group in France reported similar issues.) Now a French advocacy group, as well as the authorities, are looking into this matter.
Marketing manager of Apple’s France division, Michael Coulomb, is meeting with Herve Novelli, France’s top trade minister, on the matter.
There are more than 25 million iPhones in use globally, and a lot of people have noticed that the latest 3G S model often runs hotter than its predecessors. Any kind of safety recall would have to be a massive undertaking. At this point, it’s way too early to know if that will even be necessary. But the mere thought should be sending shivers down Cupertino’s back.
Instead, Apple seems to be playing it cool, denying any problem with the battery. Official statements released by the company blame the explosions and screen cracks on undue physical forces or shocks to the handset, not on faulty batteries. This suggests it’s the user’s fault.
There have been 10 recent reports of similar malfunctions in France, and others in Sweden, Holland and other locations. In the UK, Apple required one family to sign a confidentiality agreement before providing a refund for another iPhone that exploded.
The European Commission has asked its 27 member nations to stay on top of problems associated with this device via a rapid-elert system for dangerous consumer products (oddly called RAPEX). Despite the previously mentioned statement, Apple is still cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing.
Have you experienced overheating, screen cracking or battery faultiness? Are you worried about it?