Belgian teenager latest victim of exploding iPhone phenomenon

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A 15-year old Belgian by the name of Salvatore is the latest victim in a series of mysterious iPhone explosions that have captured the attention of France’s and the European Commissions’ consumer affair watchdogs. Details are scarce for the moment, but according to local news reports the teenager was holding his iPhone in his hand, about to make a call, when the device suddenly ‘imploded’. The incident didn’t cause any serious injuries but reportedly gave Salvatore a headache for a couple of days. He has been promised a free replacement unit by Apple but hasn’t yet received a new phone.

There have earlier been numerous reports of exploding iPhone devices in the United States, United Kingdom and France, with most recently about ten cases having emerged in France where the official competition, consumer affairs and fraud watchdog DGCCRF has now launched an investigation to find out whether the popular Apple smartphone could pose a threat to consumers. Apple, which has sold 26 million iPhones and 200 million iPods to date, said it had been informed of the French cases, but would not comment until it had closely examined the damaged phones.

Update: Apple has now said iPhones turned in by customers in France and elsewhere in Europe with shattered screens showed external pressure that would have caused the cracking. More on Bloomberg and Techmeme.

In one instance, a French teenager claimed he was hit in the eye with a glass shard when the screen of his iPhone cracked up. He said he would seek a full refund and file suit for damages. In another case, Apple came under fire for allegedly asking a young British girl’s family to sign a confidentiality agreement (aka a gagging order) before it would agree to refund her.

Earlier this month, Apple reportedly informed the European Commission that it regards all reported iPhone explosion cases as isolated incidents and have no evidence of a general problem. The European Commission, which has stated that the U.S. technology giant has been very cooperative, has asked all 27 EU nations to keep it informed of any problems under the community’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products, known as RAPEX.

(Image via QuickPWN)

  • designer

    Last night i had a nightmare that my iPhone exploded.. True story ! So happy it was just a dream :).

    • Crazyglues

      You know that’s pretty scary..

      I never really think about that, but now that I just read about it, I can’t stop thinking about it.. :(

      Let’s just hope apple has found what is causing this, and has taken care of the problem…

      • Collector

        Extremely scary!!! He had a HEADACHE FOR A –COUPLE– OF DAYS!!! OMG!!!

        Bury your iPhones today before they destroy humanity!!!

      • joaquinadley

        iPhone explosion is indeed scary news. Imagine what will happen if your phone explodes when you try to send a text message or make a call. Also, will increasing cases, think it is high time for Apple to investigate further into the issue

    • thedp

      You’re an idiot!

    • Joey

      My uncles Iphone emploded like 3 weeks ago out of nowhere..we blamed it on ghosts..but now I see others have had this same problem….stupid apple

  • Max

    I followed some of those stories which hapened in france as few of them happened close to my city, and i seriously doubt any of those cases are serious .. Most hilarious is that guy who said that he received a piece of his iphone’s screen straight in his eye and removed it all by himself !

    I personally dislike that phone for many reasons but i can’t beleive they suddently all start exploding ‘just like that’ .. even more when more than half are stupid teenagers who stupidly managed to brake it .. you should seriously see them being interviewed at TV .. seriously …

    • thedp

      Why not? they are all made in the same place. With the same cheap ass parts.

  • brendan biryla

    how does a phone implode? did it cave in on itself? Can’t wait to hear what FSJ has to say about this one.

    • Kongoleese Goverment

      Besides suing the nowegian goverment for 500 billion dollars,, we believe Apple phones implode into a apple looking white dwarf, which eventually turns into a black hole that consumes your conciousness and returns it to the appleosphere in the androidmedia galaxy. There the googloidars feast on your teenage stupidness and , you know what… it’s a conspiracy, that’s what it is.

      • joke

        It’s a joke, We’re not from the kongoleese goverment.

    • cb2000a

      It’s the CERN particle accelerator!!!! We were warned!!

  • Nils Geylen

    Ever since the Mobile Me fiasco Apple seems to be losing traction. It’s gliding down a very slippery slope. Before they know they may be the next “Evil Company”.

    The absence of Jobs as a strong leader only reinforces this image. We have no idea where this company is headed.

    Where’s the sympatethic Apple that just made good computers?

    • Tomas Sancio

      Would you like them to return to 1995, when they would make laptops that would spontaneously become engulfed in flames? Their reputation as computer makers is not spotless. While producing some gems like the new MacBook Pro that I’m using to type this, they’ve had their share of duds, too.

    • Omnibus

      Apple hasn’t changed at all. The only thing that has changed is your faltering fanboy perspective.

      • John Doe

        Its all bull****. Scams. Who has seen an exploded one in pieces (exploded) and not just a cracked screen. The word EXPLODED has been used very loosely in the cases (i guess they just can not say i broke it).

  • alma

    1st in England, 2nd in France and now in Belgium… Tainted region

    • RecycledBottle

      LOL Apple’s new product – an IED! Pretty soon we won’t be able to take them on airplanes.

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  • Bob Kerns

    “… in the United Stated, United Kingdom and France …” ????

    • Robin Wauters

      ugh, fixed

  • Alex Nikolov

    I think its kind of sad that tech media journalists complain of things overheating or blowing up when the vast majority of customers never the thing you’re describing. The thing you’ve have been flogging these types of stories for years now, and I think its pathetic. I remember when Dell laptops were catching fire a few years ago.

    This is basically a form of moral panic – tech panic- designed to get people to read your blog more often for more terrifying tales of iphones blowing up, asking themselves the question could it happen to me?!

    • Alex Nikolov

      never *experience*, the thing *is*. Sorry, rushed through comment.

    • rawiswar

      not everyone on earth gets killed for mugging. but do you ignore it? i had a white 3gs and it heated like crap. got it returned because even the swap they gave was not fixing the problem. i will complain out loud if i have an unreasonable thing happening with a product. (at least apple were nice enough to refund the whole thing unlike att that would impose the bloody restocking fee)

  • articles

    iPhone my like

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  • Prakash

    Iphone Users beware!

  • Sify Connect

    Iphone is a fad!

    • Microsoftie

      I agree.

      • chris

        yea it is a fad…but its DEF very convenient to have…until something better comes out…then THAT will be the next fad

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  • Torrango

    Out of interest does anyone have any feedback on how robust the iphone is? I’m not really too concerned about it exploding, but I’ve heard a few stories about cracked screens, and noticed quite a few people having to carry their phones in protective cases.

    Would love to get one but am concerned that it might not survive the usual drops and scratches…

    • Piet

      I have had mine for just on a year now. I am extemely careless. I have dropped it several times, onto the roadway, ceramic tiles and carpeted surfaces. The back is a little scratched, but actually in better shape than any other phone I have ever had. The screen is still absolutely flawless.

      I don’t know why people carry it in a protective case. I bought it because of it’s slim beautiful shape. I want to hold it and touch it, not some stupid piece of silicon or rubber sold at a price that is ridiculous.

      • Torrango

        That’s good to hear! I suspect I might still go with a BB or the hero for the time being since in the UK the carrier that provides the iphone has extorionate prices for data roaming (and I spend much of my time in europe). But will almost certainly get an iphone once data roaming opens up or if I am more uk based.

        Yeah the case thing always seemed a bit odd to me. The phone is pretty huge as it is, and the case only makes it bigger and detracts from apple’s styling.

        What I would love is if the made one just say 20% smaller.

        One plus of the cases is that they inject a little personality so that you’re not just another vanilla iphone user. Also, in a lot of places the iphone doesn’t seem to be that common yet (compared to london), so I wonder if it might make you more of a target for theft – using a case makes it look less like an iphone at first glance.

    • Jocca

      I think the iPhone is quite solid because I dropped mine a couple of time without any damage done. It feels solid anyway, but I have a friend who accidentally cracked his screen by dropping it while walking and stepping on it inadvertently. I would advise people to use their iPhone in a safe environment, not running or walking and surfing the internet at the same time. Bad accident can happen. Have anyone noticed that most of these exploding iPhones happen to teenagers. Is this a coincidence or what?

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  • Tim Consolazio

    I’ve dropped my iPhone, gotten it wet, left it out in the sun (I could barely pick it up), you name it (both my old and new one). Nothing has ever gone wrong with it.

    I’d also be very curious to find out if the exploding iphones were jailbroken.

    Or maybe this is just a ploy to get everybody to buy a bluetooth headset ;p

    • Hunter

      If nothing was wrong with ur old one…why did u get a new one?

      • Tim Consolazio

        Where did I ever say I got a new one? I did upgrade, from the OG to the 3Gs (I did not get a 3g), but that was related to features, it had nothing to do with the durability or quality of the phone. My old one still works perfectly (I use it for regression testing a bit, and have skype installed on it, so it’s sort of a house phone).

      • danny

        i have a 1st gen. and a 3g too some of us like iphones and arent worrying about explosions they’re very durable

  • Tim Consolazio

    I’ve dropped my iPhone, gotten it wet, left it out in the sun (I could barely pick it up), you name it (both my old and new one). Nothing has ever gone wrong with it. I don’t even use a case, just a screen protector.

    I’d also be very curious to find out if the exploding iphones were jailbroken.

    Or maybe this is just a ploy to get everybody to buy a bluetooth headset ;p

  • greg

    I have been checking the original press article about poor Salvatore and it’s very funny.

    The boy’s phone imploded in his hand … but he had headaches for a few days … pretty strange.

    His father is very upset, he has sent the iPhone back on August 26 … and he hasnt got any answer yet but he already had the time to contact the press for an interview.

    By the way, the phone dates back to March, so it would be a 3G but that is not clear, neither where/how he bought the phone.

    Overall it is very sad to read national press agency, newspaper, … report stupid affirmations without any fact check whatsoever.

    For the original article:

  • Lewis B. Sckolnick

    Junk batteries just to save a few bucks. When it happens in the USA they will fix it.

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  • Benjamin

    Hi, Robin,

    I’ve made a Google Maps, with many pictures, of all these broken iPhone in France and Belgium :


  • maltie

    OMFG! One full page on TC without a single Twitter post! Has the world ended?

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