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Old May 4, 2012, 10:05 AM   #1
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'Self-Combusting' iPhone on Airplane Due to Screw Lost in Botched Repair Job




Last November, it was reported that an iPhone 4 had experienced self-combustion onboard an aircraft that had just landed in Sydney, Australia. The incident gained a fair amount of attention for the apparently dangerous situation it caused and existing concerns over occasionally overheating of iPhones and other devices, although those incidents are usually related to charging malfunctions.

ZDNet.com.au now reports that Australian government officials have concluded their investigation into the incident, determining that the device's battery had been punctured by a lost screw that made its way inside the device during a screen replacement procedure performed by an unauthorized service center.
Quote:
The phone was sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as part of an investigation into the matter, which has now revealed that a misplaced screw punctured the battery casing, leading to a short circuit that caused the battery to overheat.

The screw that caused the issue was the result of a botched screen-replacement job from a non-authorised service centre. A screw from the bottom of the unit, adjacent to the 30-pin connector, found its way into the handset, and caused the battery compartment to puncture as a result.



X-ray of loose screw inside battery bay (top) and photo of damaged iPhone (bottom)
None of the aircraft's passengers were injured in the incident, which reportedly saw the device emitting dense smoke and a red glow, but it did highlight some of the dangers of carrying electronic equipment with powerful high-density lithium batteries on airplanes.

Article Link: 'Self-Combusting' iPhone on Airplane Due to Screw Lost in Botched Repair Job
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:11 AM   #2
FrizzleFryBen
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Considering about 1.7 million people fly in the US per day and more than 50% own a smartphones, I really wasn't concerned about this. It's still good to hear it was a botched repair rather than an actual defect.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Wow! Who would think a little misplaced screw could do all that damage! Although I'm relieved it wasn't a hardware defect.

But it's a good lesson to all of us. If you're doing the repair yourself be extra careful! Or if you're getting your device repaired elsewhere be careful who you choose.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:12 AM   #4
RoboCop001
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Always take your repairs to an authorized repair shop lol
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:12 AM   #5
jam3andy
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That and...

The drawbacks of taking your electronics for repair to someone that doesn't know what they're doing.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrizzleFryBen View Post
Considering about 1.7 million people fly in the US per day and more than 50% own a smartphones, I really wasn't concerned about this. It's still good to hear it was a botched repair rather than an actual defect.
I agree, but leave it to the government to mess things up and make it so you can't have a smart phone on a plane or something stupid like that.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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Wow, quite a series of events there. How common is it even to repair an iPhone display at an unauthorized service center?? I'd never even think the thought, given the risks.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:25 AM   #8
Eduardo R.
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You know what they say... "The inexpensive becomes expensive".

Well, okay, that doesn't sound exactly right in English (it's a translation from the saying in Spanish "Lo barato sale caro".

You get what you pay for?

Anyway, the person involved is most likely regretting not taking the device to an authorized center.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Primejimbo View Post
I agree, but leave it to the government to mess things up and make it so you can't have a smart phone on a plane or something stupid like that.
If they ban all phones on planes, they'll get my vote. Actually, if they ban all phones in lounges and public areas other than those specifically designated for the purpose (like smoking) I'll be a happier traveller.

Let the h8rz begin...
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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That repair job really did screw up that guy's iPhone.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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I like the part where everyone started blaming Apple. People need to stop going Greenpeace on us, and chill out.

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Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
That repair job really did screw up that guy's iPhone.
Ho ho, I see what you did there!
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:37 AM   #12
Faelyn
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Originally Posted by LimeiBook86 View Post
Wow! Who would think a little misplaced screw could do all that damage! .
It really isn't that amazing if you realize how tightly packed everything inside the iPhone is. I consider it a feat they managed to get an entire screw between all that, must've been with quite a bit of force.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by FrizzleFryBen View Post
Considering about 1.7 million people fly in the US per day and more than 50% own a smartphones, I really wasn't concerned about this. It's still good to hear it was a botched repair rather than an actual defect.
This ^^

Still amazing it did all the damage though ... I wonder if people thought he was a terrorist at first?
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RoboCop001 View Post
Always take your repairs to an authorized repair shop lol
Yeah, mechanics are renowned for breaking two different things for every problem they fix.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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As a guy who repairs phones for one of the most professional and biggest repair companies, I can tell you that isn't one of the screws in the iPhone 4. Whoever did that had NO clue what they were doing at all. There aren't even any black screws in the iPhone 4, they're all silver.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:48 AM   #16
doobybiggs
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As a guy who repairs phones for one of the most professional and biggest repair companies,.
in the US, UK, your hometown?
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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Would love to know how the owner of that iPhone answered the security questions when they were checking in ... the one about 'do you have electronic devices that have been repaired recently on you' ... i think it applies to checked luggage only .. but still !
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:51 AM   #18
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Would love to know how the owner of that iPhone answered the security questions when they were checking in ... the one about 'do you have electronic devices that have been repaired recently on you' ... i think it applies to checked luggage only .. but still !
that is actually a question? I have never heard that one before
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravesplitter View Post
As a guy who repairs phones for one of the most professional and biggest repair companies, I can tell you that isn't one of the screws in the iPhone 4. Whoever did that had NO clue what they were doing at all. There aren't even any black screws in the iPhone 4, they're all silver.
That's an X-Ray. There are no colors, only what does and does not absorb those x-rays.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Northgrove View Post
Wow, quite a series of events there. How common is it even to repair an iPhone display at an unauthorized service center?? I'd never even think the thought, given the risks.
In the US at least I've seen mall kiosks doing repairs and have had friends get screens repaired via mobile repair techs - some will even change the color of the iPhone. While it might not be common I'd guess it's not that unusual given the cost of an Apple repair.
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:00 AM   #21
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Wait, the Australian government, not Apple, researched the issue and discovered this fault? Seems odd that Apple wouldn't have taken the device and investigated themselves... seems like they have a lot more at stake than the Australian government... then again, had Apple done it, I get the idea Apple wouldn't have released the results, just because Apple tends to keep what they say to a minimum...
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardo R. View Post
You know what they say... "The inexpensive becomes expensive".

Well, okay, that doesn't sound exactly right in English (it's a translation from the saying in Spanish "Lo barato sale caro".

You get what you pay for?

Anyway, the person involved is most likely regretting not taking the device to an authorized center.
I think the expression perfect for this case is 'You buy cheap, you buy twice'.

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Old May 4, 2012, 11:07 AM   #23
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Well, good to know the cause was "external" (i.e. not a design flaw). Sometimes the smallest things can cause big problems...!
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
Wait, the Australian government, not Apple, researched the issue and discovered this fault? Seems odd that Apple wouldn't have taken the device and investigated themselves... seems like they have a lot more at stake than the Australian government... then again, had Apple done it, I get the idea Apple wouldn't have released the results, just because Apple tends to keep what they say to a minimum...
Behave! Ofcorse a government agency would investigate it!
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:17 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Comeagain? View Post
That's an X-Ray. There are no colors, only what does and does not absorb those x-rays.
I'll give you that but that screw is way too big for any part of the iPhone 4, I can assure you. :] Belongs in an HTC phone, I'd assume.

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Originally Posted by doobybiggs View Post
in the US, UK, your hometown?
US, my hometown is Florida. We're all across the nation though. I guess I should have stated one of the biggest in the US and not made such a general statement, lol.
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