My iphone 4s expoded :(

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cmsbfent, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. cmsbfent, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2012

    cmsbfent macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2012
    Hi folks,

    Ona very recent holiday to mexico, on arriving at the hotel, I felt a warmth from my pocket. Realising it was my phone, I took it out to see an overheating sign showing on the phone. I cant remember exactly what it said, as heat is rarely an issue here in the UK, but I thought it best to turn it off, assuming it must be common in hot climates

    However, after trying to turn it off, the phone had locked me out, and simply would not turn off. The screen had froze, and the power button / home button were not responding.

    The phone continued to get hotter and hotter, until the screen eventually blacked out. At this point I thought the phone must have diagnosed a problem, and turned off. I was wrong.

    The phone continued getting hotter for the next 20 minutes or so, to the point where I could no longer hold onto the phone without discomfort. The heat was especially intense around the point on the metal band where the gap is (the antenna I believe?) Seriously, you could not hold the phone for more than a few seconds. Eventually, the heat died down, I guess because it ran out of power.

    It was then I noticed some kind of discharge from the dock connector..


    As the phone cooled down, the discharge continued, and condensation then started to form behind the camera lense..


    At this point, I knew something was very wrong, so put it away to deal with when getting back home. Yesterday, I called apple(care). I was rang back by somebody who seemed interested in helping me. She asked me to email the above pictures to her and take a few more, as over the 2 weeks, an odd brown substance had formed around the metal band, where it meets the glass body..



    She also mentioned the water sensors so I took another shot of the dock connector stating that from what I could tell, it had not been triggered..


    She told me after looking at the pictures that the phone did clearly seem faulty, and that the pictures would be passed on to some sort of engineering department, and I would be contacted today.

    Well, I've just got off the phone with another representative, and have been told it appears to be user error of some sort, and a replacement will not be given - its within its warrantly for another 130 days

    Apparently, the reason is that the condensation behind the camera means it has come into contact with water. Not being her decision, I calmly explained that the 'water' only appeared as the phone went from being red hot, to normal temperature. She could not really advice on this, and has told me I need to visit an apple store - which is 40 miles away, and it is likely that I will have to pay for the replacement. Does this seem fair to you guys?

    Its only my word obviously, but lets assume the phone has not seen liquid. It went from a plane, to my pocket, to the hotel lobby, and then went pop.

    Advice please : )

  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Battery leaking "exploded"... But I had the same problem with a laptop at work. Promptly replaced. I'd try calling again and asking for a supervisor if you end up agin problems.
  3. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Your covered under warrantee and its clearly a manufacture defect. The condensation does not mean the phone was water damaged, there are tons of chemicals in the battery that could have caused it. Call apple, be persistent.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    Cheap chinese cable and battery will most likely cause that! :rolleyes:
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    During this time, was the phone plugged into any charger? Was there anything else in your pockets with the iPhone?

    I'm asking because something had to trigger this, and the most common trigger is a short circuiting of the connectors.

    Maybe it WAS a bad battery that jsut decided now was a good time to fail. But I can see where the skepticism on Apple's part comes from though. The crud on the dock connector looks a lot like metal corrosion, and where there's heat, there tends to be fire, not water condensation.
  6. cmsbfent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2012

    Nope, it wasnt plugged into anything

    And it was only the phone in my pocket, which was in a pinlo slice case. The case pretty much melted as its a very thin case, and the glas.t screen protector I removed, incase it was somehow interfering.

    I'm pretty anal about my phone - not as you can tell from the pictures, so it gets its own pocket

    And yeah, it didnt explode to the extent you see on some pictures, but still

    Even if it was shorted out somehow, surely it would still be possible to turn off? I'm fairly confident that if I had been able to physically power down the phone, it would now be fine. What confuses me is that the phone could get so hot in the first place if it was not faulty
  7. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Apple sure seems quick to blame the users for hardware failures... WTF?

    This is a company with many billions of dollars in the bank. They can afford to give users the benefit of the doubt. ESPECIALLY on a failure that sounds like it could have caused a fire!


    An extremely hot phone is a sign of battery failure. The battery develops an internal short, and basically discharges all its remaining energy into itself as heat. These can cause fires if they are bad enough.

    That's why I'm boggling a bit that Apple blamed you for this failure. This is potential lawsuit territory, they should be kissing your ass, giving you a brand new phone and begging you to give them the old one so they can figure out what went wrong.
  8. dchao, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    I think the water has entered the phone through condensation. Let me explain:

    You said you just arrived in Mexico. Was the iPhone placed at somewhere very cold prior to the arrival at the hotel? Like in front of AC vents in the taxi or was the iPhone placed in the unpressurized luggage compartment on the plane? (Outside temp of the plane is -50C or something.)

    You see, when a piece glass or metal are taken out from a very cold room into *very* humid outdoor environment (Mexico), you get condensation on the glass/metal. I think it is this condensation that has short-circuited your iPhone and the battery. As the condensation can be seen very clearly on the inside of the camera lens. And it explains why the LCI wasn't broken.

    Clearly, you are not at fault, but either is Apple in this case.

    But if you have Apple Care and Apple keep refusing to give you a replacement phone. You will need to contact an attorney on this to see where you stand on this case.
  9. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Can you see the 2 water damage indicators, or are they obscured by the damage? Surely if they are still both white apple dont have a leg to stand on?
  10. KoukiFC3S macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2010
    If Apple doesn't help, you should send your pics to The Verge or Gizmodo.
  11. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    Just my opinion here, but if the liquid sensors weren't triggered and the phone is still under warranty, I think Apple owes you a new phone.

    With that said, I think the only way you'll be able to get a new phone is by going to an Apple Store. It is easier to say no to someone over the phone versus when they are standing right in front of you.
  12. lrfox macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2012
    This happened to me with a 3gs. Long story short, either the condensation or the "discharge" triggered a liquid indicator and I fought with apple until they decided to only charge me $50 to replace the phone (as opposed to the $200 they initially offered). I took it because at the end of the day it was my word against theirs and they have no reason to believe me. They could have also argued that the hardware failure was due to contact with water.

    Luckily for you, it appears none of your indicators have triggered (you'd see a red dot in the headphone jack and/or near the charger jack). You have a very solid case. I would say its worth fighting even if you're told "no" a few more times.
  13. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Id consider contacting a lawyer if apple do anything but replace the phone free of charge. Assuming both water sensors are clear of course.

    You might want to send these photos to tim cook as well. These problems happen, but they should be taking it a lot more seriously.
  14. tymaster50 macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
  15. adztaylor macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2009
    Preston, UK
    Why do people jump to ridiculous assumptions? :rolleyes:
  16. cmsbfent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2012
    Well, I've just had another look at the sensors, and they definately arent red. Is it an obvious red colour? From what I can tell they look white. The headphone sensor definately is white, but the dock one is a bit chargrilled, but certainly doesnt appear red

    As for where the phone was prior to this, it was used on a plane as an mp3 player, then placed in my pocket until on the coach where I turned off roaming,then placed back in my pocket until at the hotel where the fun started. It was a very warm day though. That said, I did see a lot of iphones being used over there, and my ipad was used daily without any issues

    And the condensation on the lense.. this appeared only when the phone had become super hot, and then began to cool down. At least thats when I noticed it. It quite quickly disappeared though

    Whos tim cook by the way?


    Oh, the CEO.. gotcha ;)
  17. mikeydeezy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    MN, USA
  18. Rocko1 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2011
    Go to apple store. Complain, get new phone, report back.
  19. dchao, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

    dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    I dont have a chemistry PhD, but here is my thought.

    The condensation on the lens might not be water. Water condensation can only appear on the lens when the lens is much cooler, which contradicts to what you've told us. (Try breath onto a piece of hot glass and you won't find any condensation.) And if the droplets on the lens is the water condensation, they shouldn't disappear this fast either. Because the evaporation point of water is pretty high too, and if the water droplets got trapped in the inside of a device, it will stay there for a few days at least.

    That means there was no water inside your iPhone when the iPhone became very hot.
  20. cmsbfent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2012
    Yeah, agreed.. I dont think its condensation as such. But I dont know what could evaporate within the phone to leave these droplets?

    Really suprised at apple though. Ive always had a very high opinion of their customer service, and for them to have 2 hours worth of calls with me, requesting photos, to then come to the conclusion they have, does not seem great. I wonder if it would be different if i had missed out the lense picture.
  21. ARSC macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    I dont know what happened but i can tell you one thing, In india at the moment the temp here go to 48 Degrees celsius and the phone works flawlessly :)

    btw apple will give you a new phone.
  22. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    These representatives obviously spoke too soon, by making a decision without looking at the moisture indicators. They have insulted you by implying that you are committing fraud.

    I'd being going in hard after this and at the very least insist on a new iPhone 5 for the embarrassment caused by apple employees and the inconvenience. Keep on asking to speak to someone higher up till you at least get a replacement and an apology.
  23. AQUADock macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2011
    The condensation is probably from the battery liquids. If this happened to me I would demand a full refund and a new phone.
  24. cmsbfent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2012
    It gets better.. the closest apple store has no free appointments until a week on Sunday. I cant wait that long really. If I did want to escalate this, whats the best route?
  25. dchao macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2008
    I would just bring it in without making an appointment. Ask to speak to the store manager straight away. If this case does get out to the press, it would be bad publicity for Apple.

    Insist that it was NOT water condensation, (which I don't believe it was), and both LCI's are not damaged. Good Luck.

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