One billion iPhones sold is proof enough that the smartphones made by the Cupertino tech giant Apple are in high enough demand. However, cases of exploding iPhones continue to occur, and in the case of a Sydney, Australia cyclist, one severely burned the back of his leg after the smartphone burst following a bike spill.
An “explosive” bicycle crash
Gareth Clear, 36, from Bondi in Australia was riding around Manly Dam in New South Wales on Sunday when he fell off his bike, landing squarely on his iPhone 6.
“Seconds later, he noticed smoke and a searing heat, before hearing an explosion as the phone he’d had for just six months ignited, melting through his shorts and two layers of skin on his upper right thigh,” the Daily Telegraph reported.
“I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket…and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain,” Clear said of his incident. “I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus.”
While one wouldn’t think of their iPhone as a potentially deadly device, the combination of slimmer devices coupled with consumers’ demand for longer lasting batteries can lead to unsafe gadgets. Lithium-ion batteries contain a flammable liquid that not only explodes, but explodes tremendously.
Not the first iPhone explosion
Every year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) receives around one or two reports of injuries concerning perforated mobile phone batteries. An ACCC spokesman said that it was investigating the incident.
“The decreasing size and slimness of portable devices coupled with consumer expectations about batter life are a challenge for battery manufacturers,” the spokesman said. “Lithium batteries are vulnerable to significant physical impact, [which] may damage the extremely thin separators that keep the elements of the battery apart.”
There have been many instances of exploding phones in the past, including one example in which a phone exploded into flames inside of a plane during flight. However, these frightening instances are quite rare, and have mostly involved older models of iPhones.
According the The Herald, Apple has been in contact with Clear about the incident. No news on whether the Cupertino company plans on picking up the hospital bill.