So this happened to my iPhone...!!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nick1024, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. nick1024 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
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    UK
    #1
    I put my 3GS on charge and this happened!! Pulled out the charger as soon as I noticed what was happening. I think the ballooned battery was close to exploding.

    I've never tampered with the device and have always used the official Apple charger. Granted it's an old phone, but this should never happen. Ever.

    Was a bit scary as I have young children playing around the area I put the phone on charge in...will definitely be more cautious about leaving my 6S on charge unattended.
     

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  2. willmtaylor Suspended

    willmtaylor

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    #2
    Yes, we all ought to keep an eye on our aging li-ion batteries.

    You don't have to always watch your current devices though, as those have new batteries in good condition.
     
  3. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #3
    Just an old battery that is needing to be retired. This is not that uncommon.
     
  4. I7guy, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015

    I7guy macrumors G5

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    #4
    All rechargeable batteries unfortunately can do this and thankfully there were no injuries.

    Edit: I forgot to add my 2 year old Mophie battery pack swelled and I threw it out.
     
  5. Charadis macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 3, 2010
    #5
    That's scary. True, your phone is quite an early model, but I think one should not have to worry about something like this happening if your device is still working reliably.

    My 5 seems to be heading that same direction, as I've been reading about battery expansion in these old models. Going on > 3 years bought new at launch, my phone' battery life still seems great for its age. And everyone tells me it looks almost brand new still, but there is a bulge at the left edge. I can see backlight peeking out of that edge in the dark.

    I don't want to replace mine because the screen is perfect, and battery life still great, and I've been through years keeping it looking like new. So I hope you understand my frustration that this is happening. I'm getting a 6s for Christmas, otherwise I would've held out much longer.
     

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  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #6
    Lithium ion batteries can expand when they fail. If they're punctured they can explode. They tend to have a life of about 3-5 years. It will continue to happen unless someone invents a different kind of battery.

    When people find out their phones have the potential to do this they get upset, but yet we drive around in cars every day. The fuel tanks are full of 12-20 gallons of gasoline that can explode and burn you alive.
     
  7. posguy99 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #7
    <pedantic> Burning cars don't explode. Burning gasoline doesn't explode. Gasoline vapor, mixed properly with oxygen and supplied with an ignition source at that point, explodes. </pedantic>
     
  8. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #8
    I have several old iPhones that i'd rather not have this happen to. I take them out a few times a year to charge them up, but is there anything else that can be done to help prevent this? When's the last time you charged that phone, OP?
     
  9. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #9
    I get the overall idea of the analogy, but at the same time simply using a car normally isn't something that would lead to it exploding at some point down the line while you are doing something completely normal, like parking it, for example (at least certainly not something that would be seen as being expected or acceptable in any way).
     
  10. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #10
    We've all seen burning cars on the side of the road, probably not the gas tank that exploded though. I think the point is there are things we come into contact with, do, are places where unexpected out of the ordinary bad things can happen. A swelling LI-ION battery is one of those out-of-the-ordinary things that can happen with hopefully a very infrequent occurrence.
     
  11. HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #11
    Li ion batteries unfornutantly have these traits. The liquid layers can degrade and swell. They are also dangerous when damaged in any way. This will happen to any current Li Ion wet cell battery. There have been fires on aircraft back up batteries.

    The energy density is highest so all manufacturers will continue to use them. This is not an Apple issue. Work is being done to change to a dry or solid Li ion technology which does not have these issues. Till then, there will be phones, laptops, and other devices that a small percentage of will have a bad battery.

    With the hundreds of millions of Li ion batteries in use across hundreds of devices of all kinds, the swelling and bursting batteries are rare, but always possible. That's the risks you take using the technology. Have you ever heard of a lighter bursting into flames in a pocket? It can happen, rare but has been reported.
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #12
    Well, my point was that were surrounded by dangerous things constantly. I'm less worried about expanding batteries and cars catching on fire than I am someone texting and driving on the freeway.
     
  13. Charadis macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 3, 2010
    #13
    The best solution would probably be to have user replaceable batteries. Otherwise, it seems the generally acceptable message here is that sealed-in batteries is a means to planned obsolescence.


    Glad nothing series happened to you with phone, OP. Still, it would seem like potential for something dangerous to occur.
     
  14. nick1024 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    The phones been in regular use since I bought it in 2009
     
  15. nick1024 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Thanks everyone for your input...certainly been an education for me about degrading batteries. I had no idea the risks of this kind of thing happening increase over time as the battery degrades.
     
  16. HEK, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015

    HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    #16
    Not sure if degrading over time is really the issue. Batteries like any other manufactured items are not made perfect. The one you had happened to fail. Some will some won't. If all all Li ion batteries fail over time as a natural occurrence we would be seeing millions of divices going bad right now.
     
  17. GrumpyMom macrumors 601

    GrumpyMom

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    #17
    I didn't know, either. My mother in law has and is using the original IPhone, I think. If it's not an original it's one of the much earlier models. I'd better talk to my husband about getting her a newer iPhone. It's a shame, she is quite content with what she has.
     
  18. theramod macrumors member

    theramod

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    Dec 2, 2015
    #18
    Happened to me on my galaxy s3. Im glad it was cheap piece of s*it with plastic battery cover so no real damage done. Phone was 1 year old when that happened. After that I threw it away and bought 6s.
     
  19. yaboyac29 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #19
    If it works reliably then that means that the components that run the OS work fine. Doesn't mean that the battery is fine though. Especially on a device that is almost 8 years old.
     
  20. Cisto1983 macrumors newbie

    Cisto1983

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    #20
    Was the battery still the original one? If so, call Apple and tell them what happened, even if out of warranty they might give you a replacement
     
  21. pika2000 macrumors 68030

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    Jun 22, 2007
    #21
    I wonder what would happen if you take it to an Apple store. I mean sure the device is out of warranty, but does it still count as a "defect"?
     
  22. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #22
  23. darrylcn, Dec 20, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015

    darrylcn macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2015
    #23
    Same thing recently happened to my 3GS as well at my first iPhone 5 - Apple Store charged me the screen replacement cost and gave me a new 5. I had given the 3GS to my brother after he killed his Blackberry a couple of years ago and I finally got it back in November. Traded for a Russian Imperial Stout I love :D. It had been powered off for a while (He had a 5S and now a 6S since) and when I charged it the battery drained 40% sitting overnight. I charged it the next day and the battery swelled. Fortunately (since I intend on keeping the phone now that I have it back) it didn't bend the logic board as much as the OP's, it instead pushed the plastic back away from the metal frame. I've since had the broken digitizer fixed (I replaced the battery with an iFixit one) and I'm picking it up from the shop tomorrow. I've got a 5 now and there's a 6S Plus under the tree but I'll still be glad to have the 3GS back since it was my first Smart/iPhone back in '09. I hesitate to say it's a sentimental thing, but I will be happy to have it back in my custody.

    Does your phone still work Nick, assuming you were brave enough to test it?
     
  24. nick1024 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 28, 2009
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    UK
    #24
    I'm almost certain it won't work - the logic board is bent and the screen has been blown away from the plastic shell. I don't want to risk trying to pack it all back in in case it explodes!

    This was my first smart phone and served me very well. Even in this shape, I still have an attachment to it!
     
  25. nick1024 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    One way to find out....ill take it in store and see what they say.
     

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