It’s not uncommon for new smartphones to suffer from a few hardware or software issues upon launch. Apple has shipped millions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units worldwide. Last week, pictures appeared on social media showing an iPhone 8 Plus that appeared to have burst open. The issue is said to be caused by the expansion of batteries. Apple has confirmed that it was aware of the iPhone 8 Plus battery issue.

iPhone 8 Plus Battery Issue
Image source iFeng

Swollen battery forced the screen to pop open

An Apple spokesperson told MacRumors that the tech giant was investigating two incidents of the iPhone 8 Plus battery failure. Apple almost always investigates problems with new products. In both instances, a swollen battery appears to have forced the screen to pop open. However, the issue doesn’t seem to be as severe as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

Last week, a Taiwanese woman had reported that her 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus burst open while charging. She claimed she was using the official Apple power adapter and cable. The device has been returned to Apple for further investigation. The second incident took place in Japan. The Japanese customer said in a tweet that their iPhone 8 Plus’ display assembly was detached from the aluminum enclosure when they opened the box.

It indicates that the iPhone 8 Plus battery might have suffered damage during the shipping process. MacRumors speculates that the battery in both cases might have swelled due to gases inside. A reliable source told Apple Insider that the Cupertino company investigates battery problems even on older smartphones brought into the Apple stores.

iPhone 8 Plus battery issue not as bad as the Note 7

Neither the Taiwanese nor the Japanese customer reported any signs of fire or explosion. It indicates that the iPhone 8 Plus battery does not suffer from the same problem that affected the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung withdrew the Note 7 after confirming at least 35 cases of explosions. The Korean company killed the phablet after replacement units also began exploding.

For the iPhone 8 Plus, there have been only two reported cases in millions of units shipped so far. These could be isolated instances of hardware defects rather than a serious manufacturing problem. Such rare incidents happen with most new smartphones. It happened with the iPhone 7, and may happen with other smartphones in the future because of the nature of lithium-ion batteries.

The average immediate failure rate for lithium-ion batteries is one in roughly one million without mishandling. The failure rate for the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 was higher than one in 20,000. Apple Insider reached out to five different Apple Genius Bars over the weekend, but they reported no cases of the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus battery swelling. The above two incidents appear to be an “infant failure” of the handsets.

Apple promises to fix the iPhone 8 crackling sound issue

Separately, users have also complained about a weird crackling sound coming out of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’s earpiece. The noise disrupts the audio during phone calls and FaceTime calls. It affects users across different carriers in different parts of the world. The crackling sound does not appear when you use the earpiece as the loudspeaker.

It’s a software bug rather than a hardware issue. Apple has promised to fix it via an upcoming iOS update. Apple did not mention when the update would be rolled out.

iPhone 8 Plus features the world’s best smartphone camera

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are only iterative upgrades over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Their back panel is made out of the glass to facilitate wireless charging. Apple uses Qi standard for wireless charging. Both handsets run Apple’s custom A11 Bionic processor. The Cupertino company has also improved camera technology with the new iPhones without increasing the megapixel count.

The iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 12-megapixel wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens. The device also gets a new feature called Portrait Lighting that allows you to capture pictures in different modes. DxOMark recently declared that the iPhone 8 Plus had the world’s best smartphone camera with a score of 94/100. It was closely followed by the smaller iPhone 8, which scored 92/100 points.

Though Apple claims the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offer roughly the same battery life as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a teardown revealed that the new phones include smaller batteries compared to their predecessors. The iPhone 8 includes a 1,821mAh battery while its bigger sibling comes with a 2,675mAh battery. Last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus featured a 1,960mAh and 2,900mAh battery packs. The iPhone 8 comes with 2GB RAM and the 8 Plus offers 3GB RAM, the same as last year’s models.

iPhone 8 sales ‘stable’ not ‘weak’

Sales of the newly launched iPhones have been lukewarm at best because most potential buyers have been holding out for the iPhone X, the biggest iPhone upgrade in years. The iPhone X will hit the stores on November 3rd. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors last week that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sales were “stable” instead of weak as the mainstream media suggested.

The analyst added that production for the 2017 iPhones was split 50:50 between the iPhone 8/8Plus and the iPhone X. The iPhone 8/8 Plus adoption rate was about half of the iPhone 7/7 Plus during the opening weekend, according to data from Localytics. The sales were lower because the iPhone X was not included.