'Self-Combusting' iPhone on Airplane Due to Screw Lost in Botched Repair Job

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 4, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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
  2. FrizzleFryBen macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    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.
  3. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    Wow! Who would think a little misplaced screw could do all that damage! :eek: 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.
  4. RoboCop001 macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Always take your repairs to an authorized repair shop lol
  5. jam3andy macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2010
    That and...

    The drawbacks of taking your electronics for repair to someone that doesn't know what they're doing.;)
  6. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    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.
  7. Northgrove macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2010
    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.
  8. Eduardo R. macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2011
    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.
  9. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    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... :rolleyes:
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    That repair job really did screw up that guy's iPhone.
  11. ristlin Guest

    Mar 29, 2012
    I like the part where everyone started blaming Apple. People need to stop going Greenpeace on us, and chill out.


    Ho ho, I see what you did there!
  12. Faelyn macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2010
    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.
  13. doobybiggs macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2012
    This ^^

    Still amazing it did all the damage though ... I wonder if people thought he was a terrorist at first?
  14. ristlin Guest

    Mar 29, 2012
    Yeah, mechanics are renowned for breaking two different things for every problem they fix.
  15. Gravesplitter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    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.
  16. doobybiggs macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2012
    in the US, UK, your hometown?
  17. milliepuppy macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    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 !
  18. doobybiggs macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2012
    that is actually a question? I have never heard that one before :confused:
  19. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    That's an X-Ray. There are no colors, only what does and does not absorb those x-rays.
  20. jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    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.
  21. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    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...
  22. Loucifer macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2012
    I think the expression perfect for this case is 'You buy cheap, you buy twice'.

  23. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    Well, good to know the cause was "external" (i.e. not a design flaw). Sometimes the smallest things can cause big problems...!
  24. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Behave! Ofcorse a government agency would investigate it!
  25. Gravesplitter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    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.


    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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