Exploding iPhones Are Latest Headache for Apple
Apple iPhone 3GS smartphones have reportedly been exploding around Europe, in what Apple is calling isolated incidents. According to some news outlets, in at least one case Apple has offered to reimburse an owner, with the agreement that the terms and existence of the settlement were to remain confidential.
Explosions are the latest problem attributed to the Apple iPhone 3GS, which since its June arrival has reportedly overheated to the point of discoloration, had issues with quickly draining batteries and suffered from overly delicate screens.
For now, the allegedly exploding iPhones seem isolated to Europe.
"Apple Inc. is investigating media reports that one or more of the company's iPhones have exploded in Europe, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Tuesday," Reuters reported Aug. 18.
The spokesperson, Helen Kearns, reportedly told those gathered at a news briefing that Apple is "trying to get more information on the specific details of those incidents, and they will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause."
Apple, for its part, is calling the incidents isolated but has said it is looking into them.
"For the cases which have been reported in the media, Apple [is] trying to get more information on the details of the incidents and will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause," Apple reportedly told the Commission in a statement, according to MacWorld.
In one incident, wrote Macworld, a French teenager claimed to have hurt his eye after his girlfriend's iPhone made a hissing sound and then its glass touch-screen shattered.
A 47-year-old UK man said his daughter's iPhone also hissed and then exploded. And in the Netherlands, an iPhone left in a car reportedly caused a fire that burned the vehicle's seat.
SlashGear-running an image presumably of the burnt car seat-additionally reported that Apple has tried to keep chatter about these incidents to a minimum by giving refunds to the owners of the destroyed devices, so long as they keep the terms of the agreement confidential.
"[Apple] did offer the Liverpool owner a [$271] refund with the proviso that, in accepting it, those involved were to 'agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential,' with the understanding that any breach of confidentiality 'may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties,'" wrote SlashGear, which went on to report that the owner did not accept the terms.
Apple could not be reached for comment.