Is The Apple iPhone 4 A Possible Fire Hazard?

With the release of the iPhone 4S, the latest Apple smartphone has understandably gotten much of the limelight away from its older brother, the iPhone 4. However, the iPhone 4 has gotten some interesting media mileage as of late, but it’s not the kind of publicity Apple would like.

Towards the end of November, there were two incidents reported of iPhone4 units burning up. That’s right, burning iPhone 4 smartphones. One was in brazil while one was in Australia.

This begs the question whether the iPhone 4 is a fire hazard. Imagine a burning phone in your pocket, or a burning phone beside your bed while you were sleeping. It’s scary. It can also do you a lot of harm.

Nonetheless, I must stress that with the millions upon millions of iPhone 4 units sold by Apple, these are really fringe cases. However, just the knowledge that the same could happen to your iPhone 4 may be enough to cause concern for some.

The first case was reported by The iPhone Blog (of which the report I’ll be quoting here was translated via Google Translate).

According to the report, Brazilian Ayla Paulo Mota was shocked from sleep when the iPhone 4 that was left to charge overnight beside the bed the Brazilian was sleeping in was emitting sparks and smoke. The phone was reportedly just 15 inches (or centimeters? The Google translation is weird) from the face of the Brazilian.

Here is Mota’s iPhone 4:

The site quotes Mota:

“At dawn, I woke up seconds before witnessed the burning of my iPhone when I saw a lot of sparks and black smoke out of the cell. My room was impregnated with an unbearable smell smoke! At that moment, turned off the power switch in the room to remove the phone from the outlet. Soon after, I opened the windows of the room and turned on the fan to remove smoke, that just came out completely on Tuesday morning. I do not hurt, although the unit is about 15 cm and height of my eyes.

(De madrugada, acordei segundos antes de testemunhar a combustão do meu iPhone, quando vi faíscas e muita fumaça preta saírem do celular. Meu quarto ficou impregnado com uma fumaça de cheiro insuportável! Logo em seguida, abri as janelas do quarto e liguei o ventilador para retirar a fumaça, que só saiu completamente na manhã de terça. Não me feri, apesar do aparelho estar a uns 15 cm e na altura dos meus olhos.) ”

According to the site, the iPhone 4 fire incident involving the Brazilian happened on November 22.

This brings us to our other case. It’s the iPhone 4 which burned spontaneously after a flight in Australia has just landed in Sydney.

This incident happened on November 25, three days after the iPhone 4 fire in Brazil. While the Brazilian incident involving the iPhone 4 may have been caused by the fact that it was left plugged in and charging overnight, this incident in Australia happened for apparently no reason at all.

In a press release published by Regional Express, the Australian airline which owns the airplane the incident happened on, it is said that the iPhone 4 of a passenger just suddenly started to emit “significant amounts of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow”.

The airline said:

“Regional Express (Rex) flight ZL319 operating from Lismore to Sydney today had an occurrence after landing, when a passenger’s mobile phone started emitting a significant amount of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow.

In accordance with company standard safety procedures, the Flight Attendant carried out recovery actions immediately and the red glow was extinguished successfully.

All passengers and crew on board were unharmed.”

Here is the passenger’s iPhone 4:

According to the airline, the incident has already been forwarded to Australian authorities for an investigation.

Via The iPhone Blog, Regional Express

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