Perfectly burnt iPhone. Photo: Carlos Sancho Flickr
The TSA has started treating smartphones with dead batteries like potential bombs, but after an iPhone mishap on one plane caused an emergency evacuation, maybe they should be more worried about all the iPhones with a full charge too.
Panic broke out on a flight bound for Prague this weekend after an iPhone 5 caught fire in a passenger’s bag, causing the entire plane to be evacuated back to the main terminal.
Batteries are potentially volatile things, stuffed with electrochemical cells practically humming with electolytes. Every once and a while, then, they’re sure to break down, and companies like Apple do literally everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Here’s why. An iPhone 5c that exploded in the pocket of a 13-year-old girl resulted in a fire so severe that she was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns.
The answer, it turns out, is no, but that didn’t stop the wasteful doofuses at TechRax lit an iPhone 5s on fire with a combination of gasoline and Axe body spray anyway. They set the iPhone to record, lit it aflame, then dunked it in a bucket of water to cool it off. Incredibly, they then seemed disappointed they could not retrieve the video from the iPhone 5s — perhaps dropping it in a bucket of water had something to do with that? — so they then start smashing it with a hammer.
Ladies and gentlemen, all hail the gadget dork’s moronic, mindlessly destructive id!
The FlameStower looks like a clever way to keep your iPhone charged while you’re camping in the wilderness. Just fill its reservoir with water, stick the other end into the flames of your campfire and plug your chosen gadget into the USB port. Relax with the charred meat and beverage of your choice, and—just three hours later—your iPhone will be fully charged.
I have a love/hate relationship with destruction videos. Love because, well, who doesn’t love seeing how tough our gadgets really are? And hate because smashing up perfectly good items shows everything that is shameful and bad about our wasteful modern society.
So it is with mixed feelings that I bring you Kai W of DigitalRev TV and his series of ever-more-cruel ordeals for the Canon 7D SLR.
If you've got a first-generation iPod nano, get it replaced before it looks like this.
Apple has been forced to pay a couple in Tokyo, Japan, ¥600,000 (approx. $7,400) for medical fees and pain and suffering after their first-generation iPod nano spontaneously burst into flames, causing burns to the hand that took more than a month to completely heal.
An Australian airline revealed in a press release last week that one of its cabin crew was forced to extinguish an iPhone 4 that very nearly burst into flames shortly after the plane touched down in Sydney. As it turns out, that certainly won’t be the last iPhone to self combust.
An iPhone 4 user in Brazil has experienced a similar scenario with his own handset. While charging just inches away from his face, the device began emitting plumes of smoke and caught fire.
As if the antenna and proximity sensor woes weren’t enough now we can add one other issue to the pile of iPhone 4 woes: catching fire. BGR reported today that one unlucky iPhone 4 owner ended up with a “fried iPhone 4’ and a “slightly burned” hand.
According to the story the customer attempted to get help with the iPhone 4 by bringing it into a local store, but it was to far gone to be repaired. The incident occurred while the user was plugging the iPhone 4 into their computer using the Apple USB cable that came with it. The conclusion was that the USB port on the iPhone 4 was probably defective and while the iPhone 4 suffered some damage the cable seems to have been damaged the most.
While this could happen based on prior reports about the iPhone 3G and iPod Nano it isn’t likely going to happen to you. However, if you are overly worried about things like this then you might consider keeping a pair of oven mitts and a bucket of water (or chemical extinguisher per the comments) handy just in case.