A video recently surfaced of an explosion after a man bites an iPhone battery in a Chinese electronics store.
Man Bites an iPhone Battery
Apparently testing the authenticity of electronics with your teeth is a bad idea, according to the experience of a man in an electronics store in China. When the man bites an iPhone battery, it explodes and catches fire.
A ten second clip of the explosion when the man bites an iPhone battery is included below, and has been circulating around Chinese social media. Reports from local media suggest that he was attempting to test whether the battery was authentic. The timestamp on the CCTV camera that was recording as the man bites an iPhone battery places the event on Friday, January 19. Newsweek reached out to Apple for comment regarding the situation, but has not yet received a reply.
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Although there was a pretty sizeable explosion when the man bites an iPhone battery, no one was injured, thankfully. This is surprising considering the proximity of the explosion to the man’s face and the several people around him, and the situation ended up being a harmless yet scary reminder that putting batteries in your mouth is a bad idea.
While an explosion when a man bites an iPhone battery may be excusable, this isn’t the first time there have been issues with an iPhone power supply overheating. Newsweek reports that this explosion comes just two weeks after an Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland, had to be evacuated due to an iPhone battery overheating and exploding. Local media in Switzerland said that 50 workers and customers had to leave the store and one repair worker required treatment for burns.
Back in October, too, several incidents of iPhone 8 Plus batteries overheating were reported in Japan, China, and Taiwan. It appears that the issues with Apple’s latest flagships may have problems beyond malfunctioning when a man bites an iPhone battery. While these problems pale in comparison to the battery issues from Samsung’s failed Galaxy Note 7, it’s still a notable problem that could cause issues for Apple if the news about the problem were to spread.
A propensity to overheat isn’t the only issue with the iPhone’s battery, however, after recent news that Apple was taking steps to slow older iPhones down due to the possibility of a crash. While slowing the iPhone may not have been inexcusable by itself, there was a lack of transparency surrounding the practice, and Apple only recently confirmed that they were throttling performance to protect the battery.
After a massive PR emergency, Apple apologized for the practice and is currently offering discounted battery replacement for $29 rather than the usual price of $79. Replacing an aging battery should fix the issue, as throttling happens due to the age of the battery and its decreased capacity rather than at a specific age of the phone itself.
For those who would rather not deal with throttling and don’t want to replace their battery, a solution is coming with iOS 11.3. An iOS 11.3 preview earlier this morning revealed the introduction of a feature that will allow users to toggle off the performance reduction with the understanding that doing so has the potential to cause their phone to crash randomly.
Apple CEO claimed in a recent interview with ABC News that the company had made people aware of the problem back when the introduction of the throttling was first implemented, but acknowledged that they may not have been as straightforward as they should have been.
“When we did put [the speed-sapping software update] out, we did say what it was but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” Cook said. “Maybe we should have been clearer as well, so we deeply apologize for anyone who thinks we have some other kind of motivation.”
That “other motivation” refers to suggestions that the iPhone throttling feature may have been due to some sort of planned obsolescence that would strongly encourage users with older iPhones to update to a brand new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X. By slowing down older phones, the company would be able to move more people onto their newest models and increase sales with each generation.
When a man bites an iPhone battery in order to test its authenticity and it explodes in his face, it’s clear that there’s some sort of problem with the underlying technology. While biting a battery is never a good idea, this incident combined with decreased performance and an overheating situation that necessitated an evacuation may send Apple back to the drawing board when it comes to improving the power supply of their upcoming devices.