Samsung Galaxy S III Exploded, But After Microwave Incident

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-07-09 Print this article Print

Samsung’s hired investigation team found that the Galaxy S III a user claimed exploded in his car, actually exploded after it was put in a microwave oven to remedy a water incident.

The Samsung Galaxy S III owner who claimed his new smartphone exploded in his car has backed away from his statement, after a third-party investigation found the cause of the heat-related damage to be an €œexternal energy source.€

The kid€™s friend put the smartphone in a microwave oven.

€œI would like to retract my original statement,€ wrote the Samsung owner, a university student in Ireland using the handle dillo2k10 on the forum €œThe damage to the phone was caused by another person, although they were attempting to recover the phone from water this later caused the damage shown on the phone.€

He added, €œIt occurred due to a large amount of external energy and there was no fault with the phone. This was not a deliberate act but a stupid mistake.€

Apparently faced with a soggy, and then scorched, phone, the lad made up a tale, first posting to the forum the day before the Galaxy S III was to make its U.S. debut on the T-Mobile and Sprint networks. (The phone has been so popular worldwide, and supply so low, Sprint was forced to delay the phone€™s release by 10 days.)

€œI was driving along €¦ when suddenly a white flame, sparks a bang came out of the phone,€ he wrote in the June 20 post. Building up some indignation he added, €œThat could have burned the side of my face or through my pocket and my leg, or set fire to my bed. It€™s very dangerous.€

Samsung, rightly, hurried to pay dillo2k10 a visit.

€œThe head of customer services came out to see me and gave me a replacement phone,€ he wrote in an update. €œEven said he would send me out some free stuff.€

FI-UK Fire Investigations, the third party hired by Samsung to investigate the allegation, wrote in a report posted to the Samsung Tomorrow site:

In the experience of Fire Investigations (UK) LLP, the antenna is a passive component and should not connect with the power source. It is, however, a suitable conductor for microwave energy and our tests clearly demonstrated this.

The device did not cause this fire based on the information available to FI-UK and the subsequent tests carried out by FI-UK.

Samsung has contracts to sell the Galaxy S III with five U.S. carriers. Following T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T, Verizon Wireless was poised to be the next to go live, announcing July 3 that it will begin selling the phone starting July 10. However, the carrier€™s Website now says the phone will begin shipping July 19.

Samsung has said that it is making the phones as fast as it can, but limited supplies caused at least one financial services firm to lower its earnings forecast for Samsung€™s second quarter and increase the forecast for its third. And indeed, on July 6, Samsung€™s stock shares fell, after the company announced record quarterly earnings but sales that fell below expectations.

JK Shin, head of Samsung€™s mobile division, told the press that sales of Galaxy S III smartphones would likely exceed 10 million units in July, Reuters reported June 25. According to the report, Shin added, €œWe€™ve sent executives and staff to almost all our (component) suppliers to ensure a smooth offering and hopefully things will get better from next week.€

With supplies still lagging, analysts have estimated that Samsung instead sold 6 million to 7 million of the smartphones during its second quarter.

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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