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MacProFCP

Contributor
Original poster
Jun 14, 2007
274
469
Michigan
iPhone Fire

What surprises me here was Apple’s response to not use iPhones after 7 years. I know many people who use older phones, do they all risk fire?

BTW - the phone was being charged with the original Apple charger.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
5,155
7,260
USA
iPhone Fire

What surprises me here was Apple’s response to not use iPhones after 7 years. I know many people who use older phones, do they all risk fire?

BTW - the phone was being charged with the original Apple charger.
Any lithium battery can catch fire. Usually it happens if the battery is damaged somehow. Inside edition is not exactly the news. I’s kind of like a tabloid show for celebrities.

You shouldn’t use an iPhone after seven years because it’s not getting security updates.
 

MacProFCP

Contributor
Original poster
Jun 14, 2007
274
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Michigan
I have some old iPads I use for controlling sound equipment, makes no sense to get rid them when they do the job.

I would’ve expected Apple to ask for the phone to be sent in for investigation.

A battery should never catch fire.

I’m highly unimpressed by Apple’s apathy towards, what could’ve been, a deadly incident.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
5,155
7,260
USA
Should I get rid of my 3GS, my 4, my 4s, my 5 and my 6s+ now? ;)

Not an iPhone but maybe the same thing regarding my 2009 HTC Touch Pro? That has a removable battery though… 🤔
If you're talking about fire, there's always a risk with an aging lithium battery. MKBHD did a whole video on Samsung phone batteries expanding when in storage. I think the chance is very minimal but always there. You have to realize there are millions of iPhones out there so it's not surprising that one does something crazy. If you're worried about them catching on fire you probably should never get in a automobile again. You're multiples more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a car crash.
 
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bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
7,021
2,869
As of recently, an iPhone 5 doesn't work with Xfinity Mobile (and the Verizon network it's on, I assume). So there's that.
iphone 5 is pretty much an ipod now. Verizon stopped supporting it a while ago. I think the 5S is a the oldest phone phone currently being supported
 
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FeliApple

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2015
1,878
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Should I get rid of my 3GS, my 4, my 4s, my 5 and my 6s+ now? ;)

Not an iPhone but maybe the same thing regarding my 2009 HTC Touch Pro? That has a removable battery though… 🤔
And I should get rid of everything. I don’t update anything, so nothing gets security updates. My iPad Air 5? The latest model? Just set it on fire, too useless, because it’s on iPadOS 15. My iPhone 6s? Burn it too! My Xʀ on iOS 12? Right down the fireplace it goes.

Maybe we should get together and host an Apple Bonfire! I have a bunch of devices I can contribute so as to light it up. You have several, too!

Obviously I find the “not getting security updates = useless” argument not too valid.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
26,360
22,448
If you're talking about fire, there's always a risk with an aging lithium battery. MKBHD did a whole video on Samsung phone batteries expanding when in storage. I think the chance is very minimal but always there. You have to realize there are millions of iPhones out there so it's not surprising that one does something crazy. If you're worried about them catching on fire you probably should never get in a automobile again. You're multiples more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a car crash.
No, not worried about fire. Apple secures their batteries in a protective sleeve. As long as that isn't punctured there is little risk.
 

winxmac

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2021
479
649
The iPhone 7 Plus was released close to 7 years ago and still getting iOS 15 updates... I bought one brand new in late 2020 and even though I won't get the features offered in iOS 16, so long as the app I use can still be updated, I will continue using it...

I also have an iPhone 6s which is already more than 7 years old and is still getting iOS 15 updates...

I want to buy newer models but I don't have the money and they are still in working condition so there's that...

I also have iPhone 4, 4s, iPod touch 4, 5, 6 which are all more than 7 years from the date they were announced... They still work and are still being used even though battery life is not good...
 

clueless88

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2020
218
130
I didn't look finishing viewing the youtube video, but I still have my old 4S, stopped using it about 6 years ago. I still charge it up occasionally, but the battery life is very short, and most of the apps I use are not compatible with older OSes.

Apple did NOT say don't use the phone for more than 7 years. The representative just said that Apple does not expect their average customer to use/own an iPhone for more than 7 years. Looking at how often folks turn their Apple technology over, especially on this forum, this is indeed true. However, there are many of those of us who use technology more than 7 years old.

The family had an iPhone 4--was this the original battery? If if was, it most likely had to be charged at least once during the daytime as well as at night. Chances are that the original battery was replaced once or twice. The first replacement could have been an Apple OEM one, but any recent replacement would be a third party one. The third party battery quality varies widely, there have been numerous reports of the third party lithium (LIPO) batteries catching fire.

It's interesting that the quoted tech expert recommended getting older technology inspected and if necessary, replace the battery without any caveats regarding third party batteries.

I also wonder why the smoke alarm didn't wake the family up? Lithium batteries burn pretty hot and can spew really nasty particulate matter. Due to the heat of the battery fire one would also expect the countertop to sustain some damage.

I wonder if the phone was being charged with the original 5W (5V 1A) Apple charger or if they were using a higher amperage one like the 10W or 12W.

What is the likelihood that they were using an OEM cable? All of the original cables that we have are long gone and had an extremely short half life. Non-OEM cables could lead to charging issues as well.

No doubt the family did experience a lot of angst--am thankful that there was no other collateral damage. Would be nice to find out all of the facts.
 
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Shirasaki

macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
14,081
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I also wonder why the smoke alarm didn't wake the family up? Lithium batteries burn pretty hot and can spew really nasty particulate matter. Due to the heat of the battery fire one would also expect the countertop to sustain some damage.
Idk about the particle size, but ionised smoke detector doesn’t work as well for modern day household fire alarm anymore. Or theirs are defective or expired, which loses its effectiveness anyways.
 

Jackbequickly

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2022
1,257
1,161
I have seen what a battery fire can do and would never plug in and leave alone a phone that old.

After what happened to my friend, I plug my 14PM in and set it on a non flammable surface.
 

Andeddu

macrumors 65816
Dec 21, 2016
1,124
1,408
Most lithium ion batteries are unlikely to go up in flames after 7-10 years. They won’t be particularly usable though due to their age. It’s fine to use an older phone but it would be highly advisable to have the battery replaced. I still have an ancient laptop which I have kept from 2005 with a lithium ion battery. It is usable but only holds charge for a 20 minutes or less. I don’t expect it to go up in flames anytime soon.

Obviously if you are charging up an ancient piece of technology with an equally old lithium ion battery, do not leave it unattended.
 
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jaytv111

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
816
588
Should I get rid of my 3GS, my 4, my 4s, my 5 and my 6s+ now? ;)

Not an iPhone but maybe the same thing regarding my 2009 HTC Touch Pro? That has a removable battery though… 🤔
You shouldn't use them if high security is necessary. Maybe don't use them for any kind of banking or money related things. Not that banking apps typically work for older devices, though websites still work.

Chances are you would have no problem as long as you're not a high risk security target (ie human rights activist or journalist).
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
26,360
22,448
You shouldn't use them if high security is necessary. Maybe don't use them for any kind of banking or money related things. Not that banking apps typically work for older devices, though websites still work.

Chances are you would have no problem as long as you're not a high risk security target (ie human rights activist or journalist).
Well, none of them are my primary phone. My 11 Pro Max is. Only the 6s+ sees regular use and that's to stream music on a walk twice a day for about 30 mins. Perhaps respond to an email, DM or text. That's about it.

The rest are used primarily as glorified iPods. None of them have active SIMs (except the 6s+). The HTC Touch Pro is used as a clock.

All of that said, my lifestyle allows me to have multiple computers and large screens around me almost all day. I tend to use computers far more than phones for online stuff. My active phones get used as phones.
 
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addamas

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2016
806
702
All I can add is if battery is aged and wear level (SoH) is way below 80% (like 60-70) it’s extremely difficult to predict what is happening inside them and there is possibility to turn on fire during charging as it’s still chemistry. As long as Apple is not simply blocking usage of iPhone (keep stuck in bootloader) in very low SoH (which might piss people around) these situations might happen.

If someone has used the same battery for that long time or his SoH was <70% - I don’t see a place to blame Apple.
 

MmkLucario

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2022
83
91
iphone 5 is pretty much an ipod now. Verizon stopped supporting it a while ago. I think the 5S is a the oldest phone phone currently being supported
The 5S has been dropped by the cellular carriers since it didn’t support a certain frequency (VoLTE) needed for 4G.
 

MacProFCP

Contributor
Original poster
Jun 14, 2007
274
469
Michigan
I wonder if the phone was being charged with the original 5W (5V 1A) Apple charger

They mentioned it was all original. My guess is that, like me, they gave their kids their old phones to use as gaming devices. Why throw out an old phone when they are great babysitters?

(OK, so I give my old tech to other people's kids because my wife and I don't believe in letting tech babysit...:cool:)
 
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kpluck

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2018
65
162
Sacramento
iPhone Fire

What surprises me here was Apple’s response to not use iPhones after 7 years. I know many people who use older phones, do they all risk fire?

BTW - the phone was being charged with the original Apple charger.

Apple didn't say "do not use iPhones after 7 years." According the interview, the owners claim that an Apple representative told them that Apple doesn't expect their customers to be using a phone after 7 years. To me, that is very different.

Also, in the interview, there was no mention of the original charger being used. They did say the original charging cord was used. My guess is, since they specifically referenced the original cord and not the charger, a 3rd party charger was being used. If I had to put money on the likely cause, I would put my money on the 3rd party charger.

Any competent reporter should have asked about the charger.

IMHO, you should edit your original post to make a note that you got material facts about the incident wrong.

-kp
 

sam_dean

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2022
455
414
iPhone Fire

What surprises me here was Apple’s response to not use iPhones after 7 years. I know many people who use older phones, do they all risk fire?

BTW - the phone was being charged with the original Apple charger.

We are now nearing the end of January 2023.

Video's text stated it was a iPhone 4 that was released in 2010.

That's over a dozen years ago.

I have the newer 2011 iPhone 4s and the battery's so bad that it will need a new battery. With the last iOS version installed it is very slow.

I never changed its battery because I get a new iPhone every 24 months until now.

Odds are the family either replaced the battery via Apple or 3rd party or the iPhone was used with minimal charging or usage for over 12 years. Essentially a phone just to text/calls.

TBH I'd advice anyone to replace their device immediately after the final Security Update to keep their data safe from hackers. For that specific iPhone that's after 93 months or nearing 8 years of possible usage. That iPhone can accept up to iOS 7.1.2 (11D257) / June 30, 2014 that was released over 8 years ago.

But for a device that gets charged & discharged at 1x/day or more with occasional physical drops from the hand, pocket or table onto the ground/floor/street I would shorten it to 58 months or nearing 5 years due to wear and tear that could lead to unscheduled catastrophic failure.

Last thing you want is to be far away from any Apple tech or store with a non-functioning phone without a backup.

So preventative maintenance is in order.

Where I live people keep using devices that old because they cannot afford to replace or they do not care to replace.

The father mentioned he has 5 kids. They appear to have a nice relatively new home so I assume that they're cutting cost whenever they can.

As some have pointed out the use of the original Apple charger was not mentioned. Only the USB cable.

The wife of my Uni classmate died from using knock off smartphone chargers nearly a decade ago.

- https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw...or-sheryl-aldeguers-death-20140627-zsoc8.html

- https://www.kidspot.com.au/parentin...r/news-story/def63fd85bdc1d23003606340d940904

If my spouse and I had 4 kids of our own we'd have 2 iPhone plans for the same year and another 2 iPhone plans 12 months after.

As the spouse and I are paying for it we'd be receiving the newest iPhone every 12 months.

On its 13th month we hand it down to two of our kids for them to use for the next 24 months.

At the 18th month we replace the battery for a fresh new one.

On the 36th month the kids' hand me down iPhones will be liquidated and they will use our 13th month old iPhone.

Typical replacement cycle of smartphones in the US/EU has lengthened from 24 months to 36 months or longer.

This applies to all four of our kids.

For devices like a Mac or iPad that typically do not get dropped or recharged as frequently and receive their final Security Update on year 9 or 10 we'd lengthen the replacement cycle.

With 4 kids we'd buy iPad/Mac this year and another iPad/Mac 24 months from now

As the spouse and I are paying for it we'd be receiving the newest iPad/Mac every 24 months.

On its 25th month we hand it down to two of our kids for them to use for the next 48 months.

At the 56th month we replace the battery for a fresh new one.

On the 72th month the kids' hand me down iPad/Mac will be liquidated and they will use our 25th month old iPad/Mac.

Typical replacement cycle of a laptop/desktop in the US/EU has lengthened from the 90's 3 years to 6 years or longer.
 
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sam_dean

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2022
455
414
The scary thing to me, about this entire story, is that Apple dismissed a fire as "the device was too old to own".
It is not unreasonable to say that especially if the device is used in a manner that results in physical drops of the phone onto the ground from the user's hands, pockets or table.

iPhones of that era typically get charged and discharged 1x/day or more frequently.

It is like a car manufacturer stating that after the 1st 300,000 miles they expect their customers to stop using that vehicle.
 
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MacProFCP

Contributor
Original poster
Jun 14, 2007
274
469
Michigan
It is not unreasonable to say that especially if the device is used in a manner that results in physical drops of the phone onto the ground from the user's hands, pockets or table.

iPhones of that era typically get charged and discharged 1x/day or more frequently.

It is like a car manufacturer stating that after the 1st 300,000 miles they expect their customers to stop using that vehicle.

No auto manufacturer expects a car to explode when it’s old.

If this is a normal issue, Apple would be required to implement measures to ensure people don’t use their phones past a certain date.

In aviation we have a TBO or time before overhaul, to ensure safety; typically 2000 flight hours. If Apple thinks that people should not be using phones older than seven years, they should issue a warning with the product.
 
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