iPhone 3GS Exploding...

AppleBoyFreak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
290
0
Kentucky
Hello everyone,

As many have read, there have been instances where someone's iPhone has legitimately caught fire and exploded. I never thought something similar to what those people experienced would happen to me. After three years my iPhone has essentially exploded. I was on my MacBook Pro when I heard popping coming from where I had all my past Apple products. I didn't think anything of it until some iPhone boxes moved. When I went to check on the scene I discovered that my iPhone 3GS was splitting in half. Freaking out, and fearing the worst, I ran downstairs and put it in a fire proof box in the garage. I don't know what caused the damage because I haven't touched the phone since. However, I have included pictures and was wondering, do you think Apple will replace my iPhone 3GS even though it's three years old? I ask because this was my first iPhone ever and I really want to keep a working iPhone 3GS, the ruined one worked before it split. Below are some pictures! Please remember that this iPhone has no water damage and just randomly did this after three years of solid service.
 

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AppleBoyFreak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
290
0
Kentucky
Here is another photo. The iPhone didn't smoke or catch fire, but all of the damage was caused without any known human factors.
 

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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,528
653
It's not an explosion or fire, it's an expanding battery, which is quite normal when these batteries go EOL.

Apple will replace the phone for you for the battery charge (£59).
 

AppleBoyFreak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
290
0
Kentucky
It's not an explosion or fire, it's an expanding battery, which is quite normal when these batteries go EOL.

Apple will replace the phone for you for the battery charge (£59).
That sucks, like I would understand if they charged to replace the battery if only the battery went bad, but the whole entire phone is ruined because the battery was defective.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,528
653
That sucks, like I would understand if they charged to replace the battery if only the battery went bad, but the whole entire phone is ruined because the battery was defective.
They've never been able to replace the battery on the 3GS officially :p.

They charge £59 for new batteries, but on the 3GS they'll charge you for the battery but give you a whole new phone! More importantly, there's no safety issue to worry about :).
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,379
1,736
Very strange. Usually when this happens its when the phone is plugged in and charging. Gases build up in the failed battery and it pops the phone apart.

It was just sitting on the shelf not plugged in?

I generally replace batteries in a device every 1 1/2 to 2 years because I've had this happen to GPS's, PS3 controllers, phones (never an iPhone because I've replaced the battery), and a laptop.
 

Smartass

macrumors 65816
Dec 18, 2012
1,177
1,067
Go to apple store and demand that they replace it with a new one. Warranty or not, the damn thing could easily hurt you pretty bad and i'm quite sure your country's law has it all written down about selling products that are dangerous or have technical flaws that could cause serious damage so they really cant be smart about it. And no, this is NOT normal for a phone to just explode (im sure some Applefans reading this right now are thinking "its your fault you should've bought the new iphone 5 when it came out! you made it explode its your fault!")
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,379
1,736
Go to apple store and demand that they replace it with a new one. Warranty or not, the damn thing could easily hurt you pretty bad and i'm quite sure your country's law has it all written down about selling products that are dangerous or have technical flaws that could cause serious damage so they really cant be smart about it. And no, this is NOT normal for a phone to just explode (im sure some Applefans reading this right now are thinking "its your fault you should've bought the new iphone 5 when it came out! you made it explode its your fault!")
I think he's passed the point of buying a defective unit. It's just a defect that's occurred with time and use. Plus he wasn't hurt so that's moot.

Batteries fail in different ways and gas build up and expansion isn't uncommon. Generally they just harden.

I'm not saying he shouldn't take it back to Apple because he should. And Apple has great customer service so they may help him out. However I doubt they are obligated too. To me this is no different then any other part failing just in a much more exciting way. :)
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,585
Don't listen to the post above about demanding this that and the other. Just book an appointment and go in. Explain it wasn't on charge it started making noises and popped. They will 9/10 just swap the phone for free without an issue after checking the water sensors. 1/10 chance of having to pay the battery fee. Either way you'll get an effectively new device.
 

firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
5,606
454
Somewhere!
As stated, book Genius Bar appointment first. Go to Apple Store and politely explain what happened. I would be surprised if they charged you to replace it. If they do, you can always try another store. Cost should be minimal. It sounds like you really want to keep one in great condition, so maybe the cost is worth it to you.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,012
1,291
expanding old battery, happens with many products. Take it to the apple store for battery replacement and get a new refurbished 3GS and enjoy :)let us know !
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,462
805
This was your phones way of saying it's time to keep up with technology and get a modern device. :)
 

iceterminal

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2008
1,870
27
Dallas Tx.
Well, you can at least try and see what they say.

However, the defect did not occur within the allotted time of warranty. The product was free from defects during its warranty period. Only AFTER the warranty had expired, did the defect show.

So its well within their rights to decline replacement and/or repair.

Don't hold your breath.
 

AppleBoyFreak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
290
0
Kentucky
This was your phones way of saying it's time to keep up with technology and get a modern device. :)
Hah, I have an iPhone 5, but was keeping this iPhone around because, well, it was my first iPhone and the first "toy" I ever actually worked for. To others asking, it wasn't plugged it, but rather just sitting on top of its original box on display. I'll take it to Apple Sunday, but like many said I won't expect them to do anything for free. I checked on the iPhone this morning and the swelling has gone down so the damage doesn't look nearly as bad as it was last night. Thanks for the advice!
 

Lobstrosity

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2011
13
0
Hah, I have an iPhone 5, but was keeping this iPhone around because, well, it was my first iPhone and the first "toy" I ever actually worked for. To others asking, it wasn't plugged it, but rather just sitting on top of its original box on display. I'll take it to Apple Sunday, but like many said I won't expect them to do anything for free. I checked on the iPhone this morning and the swelling has gone down so the damage doesn't look nearly as bad as it was last night. Thanks for the advice!
I'm curious if you did end up going into Apple and what the outcome was.

My wife's old iPhone 3gs now looks exactly the same as yours after also sitting quietly unused since she got an iPhone 5 last fall. I pulled it out to set it up as an AirPlay receiver only to find it in this unusable condition!

Thanks!
 

oqz13

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2013
1
0
report

Hi AppleBoy, I'm writing a report on just this. Is there anyway I can contact you to ask a few more questions? Thanks!
 

Nightarchaon

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,393
29
Hah, I have an iPhone 5, but was keeping this iPhone around because, well, it was my first iPhone and the first "toy" I ever actually worked for. To others asking, it wasn't plugged it, but rather just sitting on top of its original box on display. I'll take it to Apple Sunday, but like many said I won't expect them to do anything for free. I checked on the iPhone this morning and the swelling has gone down so the damage doesn't look nearly as bad as it was last night. Thanks for the advice!
Well, id say what you have experienced is just not normal, My iPhone (1st gen, bought on day of UK release from 02) is still going strong, my mum has it now, jailborken, with a pay as you go sim in it, and it still goes 3 days between charges, and has no issues.

If it happened to me id be back for a free replacement/fix if the device is less than 5 years old, i don't expect a "high grade professional piece of equipment" to catastrophically fail in that time frame, and neither does British law (Love the sales of goods act)
 

AppleBoyFreak

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 20, 2011
290
0
Kentucky
I'm curious if you did end up going into Apple and what the outcome was.

My wife's old iPhone 3gs now looks exactly the same as yours after also sitting quietly unused since she got an iPhone 5 last fall. I pulled it out to set it up as an AirPlay receiver only to find it in this unusable condition!

Thanks!
I brought the 3GS to Apple and they said that they could charge me $59 to replace the battery, but when I tried to explain that the expanding battery not only damaged the battery, but also damaged the motherboard and other parts of the iPhone the "Genius" just acted like he did not hear me. I ended up just leaving because the service was subpar compared to how Apple stores usually treat me.

Hi AppleBoy, I'm writing a report on just this. Is there anyway I can contact you to ask a few more questions? Thanks!
I've slept since then, so I won't be able to offer much information, but if you absolutely want to ask me more about this incident then just PM me.

Well, id say what you have experienced is just not normal, My iPhone (1st gen, bought on day of UK release from 02) is still going strong, my mum has it now, jailborken, with a pay as you go sim in it, and it still goes 3 days between charges, and has no issues.

If it happened to me id be back for a free replacement/fix if the device is less than 5 years old, i don't expect a "high grade professional piece of equipment" to catastrophically fail in that time frame, and neither does British law (Love the sales of goods act)
I ended up just forgetting about it. It upsets me because that phone was my first major Apple product, but I wasn't willing to pay $59 for a battery replacement when in reality the whole phone is damaged. The phone is now just sitting in its original box.
 

luravua

macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2013
3
0
It sounds like you really want to keep one in great condition, so maybe the cost is worth it to you.
 
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