Apple iPhone 4 allegedly catches on fire while charging overnight
The incident occurred on a recent trip east and the victim said she awoke in the early morning to find her year-old white Apple iPhone 4 making "sizzling" and "popping" noises. After an "immense crackling" which she described as being "not quite an explosion," she said a putrid smell filled the air while clouds of smoke came from the phone. For some reason, the smell reminded her of swallowing plastic. A picture of the device after the incident shows a bulging battery that pried apart the casing.
The power outlet was inspected and found to have no malfunction that would explain what happened. When the woman presented the device and asked to be upgraded to an Apple iPhone 4S, the manufacturer refused and gave her a replacement Apple iPhone 4. The woman said, "I would have liked to have seen them say they understand this might not be something that affects everyone. 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."
While a similar incident took place in Australia, it has never happened before in the U.S. Back in 2011 the company extended a replacement program for the first-generation Apple iPod nano which had a defect that caused the batteries to overheat. After an investigation by the Japanese police, Apple admitted the problem and acknowledged the issue. While none of Apple's current lineup has had a problem with the battery causing a fire, some users of the recently launched new Apple iPad have complained about the tablet running hot. Apple has denied that the new tablet is running hot. Other new iPad users claim that the tablet won't work while it is re-charging. The problem seems to be that the charger is not delivering enough power. No word yet from Apple on that complaint.
source: Mashable via AppleInsider
1. denmcdon (Posts: 90; Member since: 07 Jun 2009)
Here we go PA is on the warpath against apple hey Alan get a life.Or should I say Alan's on the warpath this website is getting tired.
3. Whateverman (Posts: 3233; Member since: 17 May 2009)
PA just can't catch a break from some of its readers. If its a positive Apple article, someone post how PA favors Apple. And if it's negative, readers say their on a warpath. Alan got the article from the AppleInsider via Mashable. It sounds like he's putting out the article for consumer awareness if anything. But what do I know? I'm just an Apple/iPhone hater right? Lol!
6. denmcdon (Posts: 90; Member since: 07 Jun 2009)
Just venting can you tell me what started all this hatred against apple and vice versa against androd they both have there pluses but everybody or should I say a minority of posters on here hate apple.
38. hepresearch (unregistered)
It is because, while there are plenty of decent Android and iOS users on this forum who debate nicely and respectfully, there are also a group of each who are neither good debaters, nor are they respectful. The Android folks here claim that the iOS users are worse, and the iOS users here claim that the Android users are worse... either way, who cares? It stinks either way when Phone Arena (whether it's Michael or Victor or Alan or Ray, or whoever) posts a perfectly decent and verifiable news article, and all the extremist fanboys on the side that takes offense say, "No it di'nt! PA tell us all LIES! You PA journalistic person you a bad bad monkey!"
Once again in this case... PA posts the news... since it is news about an iPhone battery catching fire for no legitimate reason, the Apple extremists get on here and complain that PA hates Apple... "Why you PhoneArena hate Apple soooo much? My iPhone is da best, my battery never blowed up! You all LIARS!" The same thing happens when Android extremists see one of Victor's pro-Apple iOS-Android comparisons... many of his points ARE valid, but the offended extremists do the same thing... "LOLwat! My LG Optimus is sooo much smoother than iOS even on iPhone 4S! My 3.2mpic cam takes better pics than the 8mpic garbage on that iPhone4S, 2! Why you hate on Android so much iPhoneArena!?!"
Some people need to stop being such pompous snobs and get over themselves... in the mobile device sense... so they don't take things so personally, and before they post garbage comments to try to fight what they think is "garbage"... but is really the actual and applicable mobile industry news of the day.
5. skymitch89 (Posts: 1161; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)
It's more like you're an Apple fan boy and cannot, like Apple, admit that Apple has defective devices.
22. Whateverman (Posts: 3233; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Lol! I hear you bro! I'm no better, I've done the same thing myself at times and I've vented about PA too. You strick me as a tech guy and I think the true fanboys on both sides have made it popular to hate on Apple or Android, while real tech fans get caught in the cross fire a lot. Criticism often sounds like hating, but I think most us here are just venting too.
7. Alan01 (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)
And last week I was accused of being an Apple fanboy. I will say this one time so you guys understand. I don't take sides...no one takes sides. Talk of iPhoneArena is really way off base. All of the editors on this site are neutral. Whatever the news is, it is.
15. andro. (Posts: 1975; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
I have to say Alan i really love the bomb explosion picture you used to represent this article! it really makes the exploding iphone fault all the funnier !
16. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3045; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
lol but you gotta admit, it's hard not to think something when a reviewer calls a device "magical" =P
17. fishywishy (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
easy way to solve ur issue with whats on PA... don't read it
and as for the apple vs android... i would just stay out of it... lol
19. CalebSmith (Posts: 6; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)
Why hate on Alan like that denmcdon what did he do to you, telling a guy to get a life is stupid you don't know what he does you iPhone fanboys sicken me
31. CM_Punk (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
This is the greatest comment ever.
inb4 I get thumbed down
35. remixfa (Posts: 14251; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
if miz here likes it, you know u gotta be wrong..
unless he's talking about obama, then hes normally right. lol
2. pongkie (Posts: 506; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)
its part of the anti hack feature silly gurl
8. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
"Apple admitted the problem and acknowledged the issue."
So they can do that!
10. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)
She didn't hold it right when she plugged in her charger.......
30. kanagadeepan (Posts: 746; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)
Or like Steve Jobs usual answer "You are NOT charging it correctly" (earlier said "You are NOT holding it correctly" during antennagate iPhone4)...
11. christianqwerty (Posts: 461; Member since: 05 May 2011)
Apple admitted the problem, replaced her phone with a new one. End of story. Sometimes batteries have defects, it would be a problem If it was more widespread, but 1/2 out of millions isn't an iPhone problem
21. JGuinan007 (Posts: 647; Member since: 19 May 2011)
Completely agree it could have been an android phone it wouldn't suprise me if this happens to one SG2 if you sell millions of units its bound to happen to at least one unit. Batteries are the most unstable part of your phone.
12. warriorbeats (Posts: 21; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
I wonder why she would want to remain anonymous? Lol
13. andro. (Posts: 1975; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Another day another apple issue!
Will we see a new ipad overheat to the point of igniting by the end of the week by any chance?!
14. skymitch89 (Posts: 1161; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)
I wonder if something could short out if there is some kind of power surge. I know that there are some electronics that would do that if there was some kind of power surge and it wasn't plugged into a surge protector. I think that Apple should at least acknowledge the fact that they can make defective devices and at least replace the phone with the same model and storage size, if not a storage size larger.
18. hepresearch (unregistered)
It could also be a fault in the AC-DC conversion-end of the wall adapter of the charger, which would be far more likely than an errant surge (which would probably also have tripped breakers and such if it was strong enough to set the phone on fire). In that case, perhaps we should be looking at the adapter for faults in the voltage-regulation/over-current protection circuitry. If the main diode failed, or either the voltage or current was allowed to spike to wall-outlet levels, then that could have set the thing off very easily without an actual whole-house surge to blame.
Otherwise, I would say this shows that there is a great reason for Apple customers to buy the next new iPhone model every year... (just kidding!)
20. b4mv_01 (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)
She was just CHARGING IT WRONG,i mean u cant sleep while u charging it!
43. hepresearch (unregistered)
"This is what happens when you charge your iPhone during the night...
... let your iPhone charge during the night.
This has been a public service announcement. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming..."
23. B3BLW29 (Posts: 238; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
This could be a serious problem, I remember nokia BL 5C battery series that were made in China or Indonesia were called back and replaced by new one by Nokia. Reason after 200 or so charging cycles the batter overheats and may burn on charging. It was a good move by Nokia and they took it pretty seriously by putting customer safety first.
Apple should do some thing similar provided they accept there is a fault in first place.
24. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)
Everything is ok, catching fire is "within Apple thermal specifications" lol.
Now seriously I don't think this is an issue giving the statistically insignificant number of cases (at the moment).
25. AbsentbebniM (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
It's intriguing that there was no mention of whether she used an OEM cable and AC adapter. I've run into nothing but issues with cheap ones. Even had one of the blades break off into the outlet the other day.
Apple did all they should have. They replaced the defective device with one of the same kind. If stock in the 4 was gone, then I can see them giving the newer model (my ipod nano 1st gen was replaced with a 6th gen). And I bet you anything they overnight shipped the defective one back to Apple's R&D. Claims of fire hazard are not taken lightly at any company (I used to work for SC Johnson and handled calls about Glade Plug-Ins).
26. webOSlove (unregistered)
batteries are the most unstable parts of phones ?!! :O (im 13 so idk much)
27. salic (Posts: 24; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
I'd be willing to bet she got the phone wet, I've seen that before with other models
28. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Apple products are kinda explosive lately
33. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)
May be she's scared that iphans would send a hit team to her house:-P
34. dangonz (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
I think the nice lady had the Twilight version of the IPhone 4, and forgot to read in the manual where it says: "Do not charge your IPhone at night on a full moon" :)
36. jstoned (Posts: 36; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
I've seen this happen first hand. a customer was walking through my mall and said his phone was getting hot while he was on it, and next thing you know boom the back pops off and smoke starts to spew out everywhere.
But all you I tards know this and will still wate in line for an I phone 5 to give you the same lame and dangerous problems.
39. Myiphonecaughtfire (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
Hello, tonight I was charging my iphone as usual using a Belkin USB charger for the iphone. I have been using this USB on the same port for weeks, but tonight I plugged my iphone in and I repeatedly got error sounds like the usb connecting and disconnecting so I looked at my phone and the battery charging icon kept appearing and reappearing.
I unlocked my phone and got a msg that says something like "this accessory is incomptible' I can't remember the exact words because as I was reading it I smelt burning plastic and saw smoke coming out of the USB/iphone connection.
I quickly unplugged the usb off my PC. The usb had a small hole where the smoke was coming from. I tried the connection on my other PC and it kept burning so I removed it. I am using a different USB now but after this experience I WILL NEVER TRUST LEAVING AN IPHONE or ANY PHONE Charging unattended.
40. hepresearch (unregistered)
One item of advice... in my experience, it has generally never been a good idea to use third-party USB connectors or chargers... ever. The Belkin brand is a third-party, after-market distributor for accessories, and there are many other such brands which suffer similar reliability and safety issues. Even if they don't make your phone catch fire, or catch fire themselves, I do know that it is much more likely that a few months of using such things will kill your battery anyway. Poor voltage regulation is the main culprit, as they use the cheapest and least reliable regulation circuitry that they can buy to put into their chargers and adapters so that they can under-sell the OEM products. I stopped using after-market USB, wall-chargers, and car-chargers a long time ago, once I figured out that this kind of fault tends to be rather common with after-market accessories. Best of luck going forward, and I hope this helps...
41. mosesr (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)
My name is Regina Moses I Iived in Oxford,Alabama until Saturday nite October 24.2012
when our house caught on fire and burnt to the ground losing everything we owned because of an iphone 4 charger, so Thanks Alot and those who have have Iphones please watch your chargers carefully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
42. chaffeypj (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Dec 2012)
I know the feeling of this lady!!! I recently was charging my iphone 3gs and it became extremely hot to the touch and the battery pack (or baggie) expanded so much it actually ripped the back plastic cover off of the lcd metal case and put 2 long cracks down the back of the plastic case. When I went to the Apple store all they could say is that it wasn't under warranty any longer and that I need to go get a new phone and sign a 2 yr contract?!? That pisses me off as I know the phone is not under warranty but I was nt told in any way shape of form that the battery needs to be changed every 10 months or so...that is an 80 dollar procedure so on top of the $350 investment on the phone I would have to pay 80 every 10 months to insure the thing doesn't catch on fire and burn down my house or injure myself or someone else!! I have NEVER heard of this issue with any other phone esp android!!! Does this not seem like a manufacturing problem and NOT a user problem?!? Search You Tube and watch these batteries actually catch fire in tests!!! I am sure as with car mfg's they are not willing to recall the product because it is NOT cost effective and in any potential law suits will claim it is out of warranty and therefore they are not responsible even though I am sure they know of the problem!!! BUYER BEWARE...APPLE IS NOT LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR BEST INTEREST!!!!