Look At How A Ballooning Battery Can Burst Your iPhone! [Image]

Look At How A Ballooning Battery Can Burst Your iPhone! [Image]

See those two batteries in the image above? They were both taken from Apple’s iPhone 3GS. The one on the right ballooned within the device, causing it to literally burst at the seams, breaking the device’s plastic shell, pulling apart its metal bezel, and even popping its screws. Could this happen to your iPhone, too?According to iPatch, a leading iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch repair specialist here in the U.K., this is a common problem with Apple’s ageing iPhone. iPatch told Cult of Mac:

We are getting quite a few phones in that look like that have been ripped at the seems. When we open them up the battery has ballooned massively. The force is strong enough to break plastic, bend metal, and pop screws.

It appears that there is no obvious cause for the issue; iPatch reports that none of the devices they have repaired were subjected to extremes of temperature, fluids, or abnormal forces.

Have you experienced anything like this with your iPhone 3GS?

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  • aryanata

    Nope. My 3GS is still as slim as it was bought in November 2009…

  • Moustafa EL Tayeb

    yes my phone did the same thing 2 months ago. is there anyway I can still fix it?

  • FriarNurgle

    I was looking for something my my tech junk drawer and found my old pre iPhone LG Dare feature phone. The back case was ballooned out. Off to the gadget recycling center for this dead bloated whale. 

  • Louie Schuth

    The force is strong in that one.

  • Josh Adams

    My old Mac Book Pro had its battery balloon up like that. It was pushing on the track pad from underneath making the button not click properly. Anyway, took it to Apple store, they replaced the battery for free, even tho the computer was well past any warranty action.

    The Apple store in Durham, NC (South Point mall) has been incredibly helpful for stuff like that. Very impressive service!

  • iPatch_Chris

    You are more than welcome to send it to us at http://www.ipatchipods.com

  • Len Williams

    I had a similar experience with my former 17″ MacBook Pro 2007. After years of trouble-free operation, the battery ballooned and pulled apart the case by just over 1/16″. The Tampa Apple Store replaced the battery and fixed the case warpage at no charge, even though my warranty had long ago expired. Apple’s service is amazingly kind and forgiving.

    I have an old 2G iPhone 16GB that is years old and still functions perfectly. I just bought a 4S to replace it because I wanted the faster processor and the GPS. Very good reliability after nearly 6 years!

  • jonxmack

    LiPo batteries are used in most modern electric RC cars (i’m talking serious RC, $400 for just the rolling chassis, not $20 crap), and if you search for “LiPo expanding” you’ll find plenty of forum topics within the RC world talking about swelling/expanding/puffing LiPo batteries. It doesn’t have to be any particular situation that causes it, although from what I’ve read it quite often comes from high discharge rates. Not sure what would cause that in an iPhone though.

    You should also be aware that it’s not just the 3GS that uses a LiPo battery, it’s all iPhone models, and all current Apple laptops.

  • George Wedding

    Same here with a circa 2010 MacBook Pro (5,2) battery. Apple replaced it under warranty. The problem develops if you don’t regularly discharge these batteries completely (once a month or so).

  • joewaylo

    It would void your warranty though and Apple wouldn’t help you afterwards. There’s online repair places for the iPhones. But it may be easier to just buy a new one and sign a two year contract. But I’d recommend trying to hold out for seven months and hope they’ll release an iPhone 5 before October.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Thankfully, Apple had the foresight to have the battery wrapped/protected to avoid personal physical harm to us if it fails like that.

  • Jack McClauren

    Take it to the apple store and argue with them. They will replace it for $75 – $145 USD.

  • Nathan Myers

    Had one of my 3GS’s do this and I just took it apart and replaced it myself because Apple denied that it could happen. I sold it a week later and got a 4.

  • Peter Reynolds

    My 3GS is fine. But just like Josh, my aluminum MacBook battery swelled up, poped off the battery cover, and damaged the track pad. My MacBook is long out of warranty and the apple store didn’t offer to replace the battery. It still works fine with the swelled battery, but I have to use a BT mouse.

  • Abiu Izquierdo

    Its cheaper if you buy some parts from like ebay and using ifixit’s website http://www.ifixit.com  to fix the phone yourself. You could even save a couple of hundred dollars instead of spending it on a new phone or taking it to some place to get it fixed :) just a thought, hope that helps ;)

  • Honyant

    ‘We are getting quite a few phones in that look like that have been ripped at the seems.’It seams like they have been ripped at the seems.

  • darwiniandude

    The writing is different on those two batteries. The exploded one has more writing above the CE logo. Not saying that it’s an aftermarket battery, but they at least appear different.

  • Christian Moesgaard

    It is pretty common knowledge that expended rechargeable batteries behave like this. This case is extreme, but I have several Nokia phones who have died this exact way.

  • Moustafa EL Tayeb

     i already have a 4S but i was wondering if I can still fix my old 3GS.. I’ll give the apple store a shot, try to argue with them. we’ll see what happens.
    thanks!!

  • eyyad

    Yeah same here I got 3G bought it in 2008 and still slim 

  • eyyad

    honestly I would go to Apple and see what they saying but they might ask you for something around $40 I believe 

    but you can try just let us know ok ?

  • paul_howard

    The 3GS that I now use as a development/testing device just blew itself apart last night. It wasn’t plugged in at the time and hadn’t been for a least two weeks.

    Googling the problem seems to show a huge increase in this sort of thing beginning around February of this year. I’ve got an appointment at the local genius bar this afternoon, but everything I’ve read so far indicates that Apple hasn’t yet acknowledged the scope of the problem.

    Hopefully they can help without asking me to lay out another couple hundred that I’d rather keep in my “New-MBP-Whenever-They-Release-The-Damn-Things” Savings Fund.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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