Atlanta man's iPhone 6 Plus catches fire, leaves him pants-less in a crowded parking lot
Ah, the stories about exploding phones – they always make us feel slightly paranoid about the devices that we keep in our own pockets, and often act as the Bogeyman who entices us to only buy products that are deemed to be high quality, from certified retailers. When a cheap device catches fire, we brush it off as a non-issue. When an expensive phone goes pop in someone's pocket, we are reminded to be ever mindful how close to the body we carry ours.
Well, a report coming from WSB-TV Atlanta talks about a man who was forced to take his pants off on a crowded Home Depot parking lot, because his iPhone 6 Plus caught fire. Reportedly, the man, who only went as “Rocky” for the camera, felt his jeans pocket heating up and noticed smoke coming out. He reacted quickly by taking his pants off, throwing them to the side, and looking away. Thankfully, Mr. Rocky didn't sustain any serious physical injuries – just the shame of standing pants-less in a parking lot.
The man went to find out where the feisty smartphone originated from and it turns out it has been a pre-owned iPhone 6 Plus, which was refurbished by a 3rd party company — not Apple — and then was sold to Rocky by his carrier. The news report doesn't go to tell us whether the phone was advertised as a brand-new unit on purchase, so we'd wager it wasn't.
In the end, Rocky was sent a replacement iPhone 6 Plus from the refurbishing company, but the man says he is still not entirely happy. No one has taken full responsibility about the event, and no one has issued an official apology to the man who was forced to show his underwear to a number of strangers in broad daylight. Apple's comment on the matter was that the company will investigate and get to the bottom of what caused this issue, but declined to make further statements at this time.
What causes phones to spontaneously combust? In most cases it's a damaged and unstable battery. Such damage can be inflicted either by using a low-quality 3rd party charger, or by actually physically deforming the battery – like bending or denting it. In the case of Rocky's iPhone 6 Plus, one might speculate that the device bent in his pocket (remember #bendgate?), which caused the battery to get deformed. However, from the shots shown to us at that report, the device's frame doesn't seem to have been bent, so we don't think that was the culprit. And as far as 3rd party chargers go – Apple is pretty adamant on not allowing their products to be charged by just any adapter. The accessories need to be MFi (made for iPhone / iPad / iPod) certified, otherwise they just won't work.
This just goes to show us that we need to be ever-mindful about the piece of tech that we keep close to us at all times, care for its health, and do the best we can, so that it doesn't harm ours.