iPhone owner considers legal action after alleged explosion

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iPhone XS Max explodes
This isn’t what your iPhone XS Max should look like after 3 weeks.
Photo: J. Hillard/iDrop News

An Ohio man is contemplating legal action against Apple after his 3-week-old iPhone XS Max allegedly exploded in his pocket.

J. Hillard reports that his iPhone XS Max started emitting a strange smell before he felt a “large amount of heat” in his pocket. He eventually got a new device from Apple — as well as burns on his buttocks.

A $1,200 smartphone should serve you well for at least a year. Maybe even two or three. But for Hillard, his XS Max reportedly gave up in the worst possible way less than a month after he bought it.

The incident occurred on December 12 during Hillard’s lunch break.

iPhone XS Max goes boom

A strange smell was the first thing Hillard noticed, followed by a burning sensation in his pocket. Smoke started pouring out of his pants soon after.

“I had to exit the room since there was a female in the break room with me,” Hillard tells iDrop News. “I ran to the boardroom where I got my shoes and pants off as fast as possible. A VP of our company put the fire out with a fire extinguisher”

Hillard says he was left with a hole in his pants, fire extinguisher on his shoes and clothing, and “pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located.”

He also claims he inhaled “A LOT of smoke.”

Apple Store proves unhelpful

Later that day, Hillard took his XS Max — along with its melted case and screen protector — to his local Apple Store. He explained the incident to a manager, who said she would send out a senior technician.

“I told her that I expected a call from customer relations and there was nothing that a tech could tell me about the melted phone,” Hillard says. “After spending about 20 minutes with an employee and answering questions, she removed the SIM card in effort to pull up my profile but it was melted.”

Hillard allegedly waited around for 40 minutes with “zero engagement” while an Apple “safety team” examined his device at the back of the store. He eventually asked a manager to locate the employee with his phone.

“The employee resurfaced with the phone already packaged and told me that they were going to send it back to the engineering team,” he recalls. “The manager then came up to me and said that this is the only way that I could receive a replacement phone.”

It seems Hillard did not want to part with his XS Max for some reason, so he left the store with the damaged handset and no replacement. He later called AppleCare for further assistance, and went to visit his doctor for a checkup and “documentation.”

Hillard considers legal action against Apple

Hillard reports that he spoke to a senior specialist in Apple’s safety department, who documented the incident again. After sending pictures of his device and damaged clothing, he was offered a new phone by a safety department supervisor.

Hillard doesn’t feel that this is an “acceptable remedy” for the incident, iDrop reports. He also wants Apple to cough up for the damaged shoes and clothing, and to cover the cost of wireless service he has been unable to use while negotiating with the company.

Hillard is now said to be considering legal action against Apple.