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Apple Claims 'Exploding' iPhones Due to Screen Pressure, Not Battery Issues

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Last week, reports surfaced that Apple was investigating reports of "exploding" iPhones, spurred by publicity surrounding the case of a French teenager who had reportedly received an eye injury when the screen of his iPhone shattered. French news agency AFP reported earlier this week that additional claims of exploding iPhones had surfaced and that France's official consumer affairs agency had launched an investigation into the reports.

Despite claims to the contrary from those affected by the device failures, Apple claims that the incidents are not the result of any battery issues, but have instead been caused by excessive pressure on the iPhones' screens.
"To date, there are no confirmed battery overheating incidents for iPhone 3GS and the number of reports we are investigating is in the single digits," the firm said in a statement to AFP.

"The iPhones with broken glass that we have analysed to date show that in all cases the glass cracked due to an external force that was applied to the iPhone," the company added.
Apple's sales director in France, Michel Coulomb, met with French consumer affairs minister Herve Novelli today to discuss the issue, and Novelli concurred with Apple's assessment regarding the cause of the failures.
"The first results show, according to Apple management, that the iPhones weren't damaged by a battery defect leading to an explosion, but that there had been a prior shock that cracked the screens," the minister said.
Novelli noted, however, that it remains to be seen whether blame for the cracked screens should be pinned on unreasonable force applied by users or a design flaw on the part of Apple.

Article Link: Apple Claims 'Exploding' iPhones Due to Screen Pressure, Not Battery Issues
 

Scooterman1

macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2008
939
12
Houston, Tx
Now, no one really expects Apple to admit to this, do they? At least, not until the lawsuits get to amount to a lot more than a mass recall.
 
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iGod 2.0

macrumors regular
May 4, 2009
123
0
Yes...

Yeah, I pretty much knew it wasn't the battery, even though it is possible of a lithum-ion swelling like that. Very unlikely, but possible. Apple will issue a fix like always. hopefully, they won't wait like they did with the iPhone OS Messages loophole. 
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
But ....

A swelling battery would not show glass breakage as external pressure on the glass. It would show the opposite. So unless Apple didn't check closely enough to determine the direction of the breakage, this wouldn't apply.

It is common knowledge that faulty Li-Ions do in fact swell. Hmmm
 
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Master Chief

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2009
901
0
In the case of the security guy, I would say pressure (two obvious spots on the screen).

But what happened to the photo, the one I've seen very recently, of a dismantled iPhone showing its internal with a battery failure – brown stuff leaking out of it. I guess that was pressure too then. Okay. Not!
 
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SeattleMoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2009
1,947
1,664
Der Wald
What Happened To Safety/Qual Test Engineering?

Whether it is the battery or "pressure" this is moot.

No consumer product that is meant for pockets/purses/etc. should be engineered to NOT withstand some pressure/jostling.

I have been an engineer for 30 years and every since the 1990's engineering budget for safety/quality control/testing has been gutted. Why? Because of $$$$....the bottom line.

Where are the traditional "shake and bake" tests for consumer electronics today? Where are the temperature/pressure tests?

It is easier (and more importantly....cheaper) for today's companies to keep a few top lawyers on retainer for the inevitable lawsuits than staff engineering organizations with ALL engineering disciplines. By ALL I mean not just design, but requirements, saftey, test, and QC. Sadly, design (HW and SW) appear to the only discipline left at a lot of companies today....and of course...LOTS of lawyers.:(

This is not an Apple thing....this is a corporate thing....across the board.
 
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Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,508
1,271
I am curious why this is so rampant in the France area.

Whatever the reason, it seems focused in Europe. Could it have been in shipping, or related to a central issue? I am sure plenty of people have applied force to their screens, but why so much more in western Europe?
 
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JMP

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
91
5
I really seriously doubt it's because too much pressure was applied on the screen. How much pressure would be necessary to break the screen before you really hurt your ear first??? Unless you put your head in one of those nasty medieval torture machines and crush it with the iphone on it...

Have you ever seen anyone push "any" phone against their ear that hard???
Apple, get real!:eek:
 
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longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,863
1,469
Falls Church, VA
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.pngNovelli noted, however, that it remains to be seen whether blame for the cracked screens should be pinned on unreasonable force applied by users or a design flaw on the part of Apple.

It's amazing how many people crack their iPhone screens. I myself had my iPhone screen shatter by a drop of 3 feet onto a hard surface (I was sitting and it fell out of my hands onto a tile floor). I think it would do Apple well to have a slightly thicker or more shatter-resistant screen. Sure, there will still be shattered screens out there, but it should be less of a problem.
 
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franzmueller

macrumors regular
Dec 1, 2007
212
0
Spain
My 3G got one day hot , very hot on the upper part , I first thought it was due to sun exposure , after leaving it under my car seat for half an hour on standby ( with the aircon on ) the phone was as hot as before , suddenly the battery window appeared ( it was only midday and I barely used the phone that day ) that I only had 20 % charge , 10 minutes later the same message appeared telling me that I had only 10% charge then I decided to turn it off till I got home and restored in the evening .

A software bug or a battery management error ? Asked several weeks ago in the forums but nobody gave me an answer rather that it was due to sun heat .

Now I take a closer look when I am driving under direct sunlight and touch the phone once in a while , it gets warm but never so hot as that particular day .

My question is : what would have happened if I did not turn the phone off ? I guess I will never know ....

Saludos from Spain
 
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Rot'nApple

macrumors 65816
Dec 27, 2006
1,152
1
I DID build that!
Boom!

Time for a iPhone case redesign anyway.

Can't wait for the iPhone 3Gs replacement and possibly with Apple's internal workings what with the buyout of PA Semi... :rolleyes:
 
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MacMan86

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
324
0
UK
I really seriously doubt it's because too much pressure was applied on the screen. How much pressure would be necessary to break the screen before you really hurt your ear first??? Unless you put your head in one of those nasty medieval torture machines and crush it with the iphone on it...

Have you ever seen anyone push "any" phone against their ear that hard???
Apple, get real!:eek:

Um I think by pressure Apple meant dropping your iPhone/sitting on it/dropping items on it...
 
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DELLsFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
822
0
Um I think by pressure Apple meant dropping your iPhone/sitting on it/dropping items on it...

Yeah, ok ... so how does a drop/sit/item drop like this result in glass getting in some French lad's eye?
 
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odedia

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,023
135
It's amazing how many people crack their iPhone screens. I myself had my iPhone screen shatter by a drop of 3 feet onto a hard surface (I was sitting and it fell out of my hands onto a tile floor). I think it would do Apple well to have a slightly thicker or more shatter-resistant screen. Sure, there will still be shattered screens out there, but it should be less of a problem.

I cracked my screen after dropping the iphone from around the same level onto a carpeted floor!

Then again, on a different case it flew from around 10 feet high on a hard surface and nothing happened. I think it is mostly related to the angle it which it smashes on the floor.
 
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MTShipp

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
710
106
Raleigh, North Carolina
A swelling battery would not show glass breakage as external pressure on the glass. It would show the opposite. So unless Apple didn't check closely enough to determine the direction of the breakage, this wouldn't apply.


With $ and reputation on the line over this, I would bet that Apple did some very, very close inspection of the glass to determine breakage. You can inspect it closely enough and see if it was inward or outward pressure that caused the breakage.

Have you all seen that US TV show called CSI? They can figure everything out. :)
 
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run-kmc

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2009
69
0
Yeah, ok ... so how does a drop/sit/item drop like this result in glass getting in some French lad's eye?

He has a super powerful mechanical hand, just like Ash in Army of Darkness. Gotta learn to control it.
 
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Numbah One

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2007
12
64
I am curious why this is so rampant in the France area.

Whatever the reason, it seems focused in Europe. Could it have been in shipping, or related to a central issue? I am sure plenty of people have applied force to their screens, but why so much more in western Europe?

maybe folks wear their pants too tight in France? :D
 
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sam10685

macrumors 68000
Feb 2, 2006
1,761
0
Portland, OR
I shot the hell out of my busted-ass ipod touch the other day with a high powered pellet gun. There was no exploding that I saw. The battery did get hot though.
 
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JMP

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
91
5
Um I think by pressure Apple meant dropping your iPhone/sitting on it/dropping items on it...

Hum... Not sure about that...

I'm more inclined to believe that before a press release, that important for Apple's reputation (at least in Western Europe, words are carefully chosen....
I'm sure they really meant "pressure" as in "a physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it."
Otherwise they would have said the device was dropped.
Moreover, as far as reports go, and from what I read, there are no evidence which would indicate the iPhones were dropped.
But I may be wrong.
;)
 
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MacMan86

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
324
0
UK
Yeah, ok ... so how does a drop/sit/item drop like this result in glass getting in some French lad's eye?

There are hundreds of ways to 'apply external force' to an iPhone where glass could fly off into your eye. If you drop an iPhone, glass could shatter in all directions. Personally I don't believe this kid
 
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