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.
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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.
This isn’t the first time that an iDevice has caught fire, since 2009 there have been a number of reported incidents that included: an iPod Nano recall for faulty batteries (Apple eventually updated the battery warning on that recall) and an iPhone 3G also caught on fire ironically at the same spot as this years iPhone 4 — the USB port. Additionally in 2009 a Mac Laptop went up in flames.
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.